Sister Marie Hunkler celebrates Golden Jubilee
On July 14, Sister Marie Hunkler celebrated her Golden Jubilee as a Benedictine Sister at a Vespers Service at Sacred Heart Monastery, Richardton.
In the presence of Sister Paula Larson (prioress), Sisters of her monastic community, members of her family, and friends, Sister Marie renewed her vows. She recommitted herself to the monastic vows of stability, obedience and fidelity to the monastic way of life, including the vows of poverty and celibacy.
A daughter of the late Deacon Howard Hunkler and Hertha Hunkler of Napoleon, Sister Marie is the fourth of ten children raised on a farm-ranch near Napoleon. Her brother, Fr. Jerome, serves in the Fargo diocese, the parishes of Steele, Tappen, and Medina.
Sister Marie entered Sacred Heart Convent, Minot, on Sept. 3, 1961, pronouncing her first vows on June 23, 1966. Her ministry has spanned four fields: education, parish work, leadership as prioress, and pastoral care. Her teaching ministry has included St. Nicholas, Garrison, St. Leo’s and Bishop Ryan of Minot. Sister Marie’s parish ministry included Foxholm, Berthold, Our Lady of Grace and St. Leo’s, Minot, and at Queen of Peace, Dickinson. She served in leadership in her monastic community as prioress. Her pastoral care ministry began at St. Vincent’s Nursing Home, Bismarck, continued at a residency program for chaplains at Park Ridge, Ill., then at St. Luke’s Midland Regional Medical Center, Aberdeen, S.D.; then served at St. Benedict’s Health Center, Dickinson.
Sister Marie recently concluded 11 years of service as Chaplain and Spiritual Care Services Coordinator at Benedictine Living Community, Wahpeton, and is now serving in a variety of capacities in her Sacred Heart Monastery, Richardton. In addition, she is currently serving her third term as president of the North Dakota Chaplains’ Association. In her years of ministry, she has served on boards and committees in her monastic community, in the diocese of Bismarck, and also has served in various capacities in the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.
Among the aspects of life she loves, Sister Marie loves prayer and liturgy, nature, daily walks, living simply, reading, biking, remembering birthdays, being a blood donor, volunteering in various capacities, playing the organ, quiet, music, and helping someone’s day be better.