On Monday, February 13, United Way of Northern Utah was honored to host a luncheon for Sister Stephanie Mongeon and Sister Mary Zenzen of St. Benedict's Monastery in Minnesota, and Sister Marilyn Mark of Logan, Utah. These sisters, formerly of the Ogden Monastery, came to Ogden for the final distribution of a $5 million gift they left for the community when they moved away. This year's funding amounted to over $1.3 million and was distributed to 16 charities selected by the sisters for this program.
At the gathering, community leaders past and present turned out to share hugs and stories with the three visitors. Marlin Jensen, former member of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy of the LDS Church, noted that the Sisters’ example teaches us that “we should live so that we do nothing save it be for the benefit of our neighbors.” United Way President Bob Hunter told of the Sisters’ early days in Ogden, when they gleaned fruit left after the harvest, and bottled and preserved the bounty. The Sisters subsisted on a diet of potatoes and noodles, while serving the precious fruit to patients in Saint Benedict’s Hospital (which later became Ogden Regional Medical Center).
Hunter summed up the Sisters’ lasting legacy in Northern Utah as he paid them this final tribute: “None of us are going to live forever. When we do go to the great beyond, we’re going to be next to real angels; those angels will be no more real than the angels who are here with us, right here, right now.”