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Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery pick new head

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A new leader has been elected by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery.

Sister Nicole Kunze has been elected prioress and will take over leadership at the monastery at installation May 20, the Bismarck Tribune ( reports. As prioress, she will be president of University of Mary's board of trustees and have leadership positions at Garrison Memorial Hospital and CHI St. Alexius Health.

Sisters picked Kunze following a discernment process, with the women guided through prayer and discussion with guidance from two outside facilitators.

When taking over as prioress, Kunze will set out to more fully develop mission statements formed by sisters in the past few months, including focusing on leadership and making relationships with one another stronger. Kunze said she also wants to encourage working with others to provide help to those in the community, especially through hospitality.

Kunze was born near Valley City and came to the University of Mary in 1990, joining the monastery a week after graduation. She taught chemistry at St. Mary's Central High School and left for five years to study at the University of Northern Colorado in chemical education.

"I often say they were the loneliest years of my life because the sisters weren't there," she said.

Kunze teaches chemistry at the University of Mary, but will have to resign her position as an associate professor at the end of the school year. She can return to teaching when she's done as prioress, and students and colleagues on campus aren't far from her home at the monastery.

"They're only a walk away," she said.

A public celebration will be held May 21 following Kunze's installation.


Information from: Bismarck Tribune,

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