Sundays With Loretta 8.2.15

Last week, we all enjoyed a mighty chuckle at Loretta’s Nightmare Kitchen. I’ve been given a couple of things to try that she did really well, and I’ll soon be giving everyone a look into my kitchen while I try one of them. The other involves something that has exploded while cooking, in the past (I am looking at you, Lewis children 🙂 ), so hahaha no I will not be doing that.

What I’d like to show everyone, this week, is a piece of Loretta’s legacy that is rarely spoken of, outside of the fan community. You’ll see countless mentions of her command of fashion and style, her movies and her TV show, among… other things, but just casual brushes with her volunteer efforts. In fact, because of her countless hours spent with patients at Desert Regional Medical Center, a new chapel was created, and dedicated in her honor.

Hospital Honors Loretta Young with Chapel

— New Interfaith Sanctuary Open 24 Hours a Day —

By Laura Waskin / The Desert Sun

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — She brought love and laughter to millions of movie and television viewers in roles that spanned three quarters of a century.

But Loretta Young’s concern for others — and dedication to her faith — also
was legendary. The former Palm Springs resident devoted many off-screen hours to charitable works.

Young’s visits and the comfort she brought to patients at Desert Regional
Medical Center inspired volunteer coordinator Guy Lawson. He spearheaded fund-raising efforts for the hospital’s new Loretta Young Louis Memorial Chapel, which was dedicated Wednesday.

Young’s daughter, Judy Lewis, and actor Richard Thomas were among the guests at the dedication ceremony.

“Loretta attended Mass in our chapel five days a week for as long as I can
remember,” said Lawson, who has been with the hospital for eight years.  “She liked it because it was small and intimate.”

Lawson said that after he and Young became friends, she agreed to become an honorary volunteer at the hospital.

“Many of the special-care floor patients, which include hospice, AIDS and
acute-care patients, would come down and speak to her. She always insisted that the chapel door be left open.  And Loretta often went upstairs to visit
with them, too.

“Loretta had the biggest heart in the world, and when she came in here she left her stardom outside the door,” he said.

After Young died in August 2000, Lawson said he wanted to do something special to honor her memory.  In keeping with a subject close to Young’s heart, Lawson said he came up with the idea of building a new, larger chapel to provide comfort to patients, friends and families of the hospital.

The new interfaith chapel sits off of the hospital’s main lobby.  Soft music
plays in the background, and the oak-backed pews can seat up to 25 people.

The original stained-glass window from the hospital’s former chapel is in place above the altar, while a new bronze sculpture of an angel stands at the back. The angel, which resembles Young, was created by Paramount producer Gant Gaither, a close friend of Young.

“The new, more convenient location indicates the hospital’s commitment to
making spiritual wellness a priority,” said Pastor Vincent McMorrow-Purcell,
chaplain at Desert Regional Medical Center.

“It’s an essential ingredient of the facility.  The hospital recognizes
holistic care is for mind, body and soul.”

The development of the nearly $250,000 chapel was possible through donations from Desert Healthcare Foundation, Tiempo de los Niños, Hospice of the Desert Communities, Desert Regional Medical Center/Auxiliary and Young’s friends.

The chapel is open 24 hours a day to patients, visitors and staff of the

The Desert Sun / Palm Springs, Calif.
April 4, 2002

“Loretta had the biggest heart in the world…” Yes, that is becoming quite apparent to me! And the thing is that she didn’t do any of this stuff because she had to or because a church said she needed to. She just… did. She had no pretense about being any different than anyone else in this world. She gave comfort to strangers because that’s just what humans are supposed to do for one another. She was the epitome of loving one’s neighbor.




5 thoughts on “Sundays With Loretta 8.2.15

  1. Beautiful, Kayla….you’re right, so few really know the level of her dedication to helping others. The Loretta Young Louis Memorial Chapel is so lovely. It was a great honor to attend the rededication ceremony of the updated Chapel. Thanks for this Sunday remembrance of LY’s goodness. 🙂

  2. Thank you, Kayla. That was lovely. There is so much we did not know about Loretta Young. I would have thought that someone with her fame, elegance and beauty would have been somewhat pretentious. Not at all, apparently. Just the fact that her daughter-in-law loved her so much speaks volumes, as well. Keep up the great work!

    • Hi Claire, thank you for your wonderful comment and insights. She was an awesome mother-in-law and friend, I feel so blessed to have had her in my life for 24+ years. If you visit her FB page, I admin it and generally try to update it daily to share her remarkable life! She truly was a role model and continues to inspire us….

      • Claire sent me a metric ton of Lorettas on dvd, back in my youth of… a few months ago, lol. I named the day I got them in the mail LorettaChristmas, and it is an Official Kayla Holiday. 😉

  3. Thank you, Linda, for sharing the real Loretta Young with all of us. It seems that often women are not very fond of their mother-in-laws. Your love and respect for her say more about her true character than almost anything else.

    And, Kayla, I am so glad you enjoyed those DVDs and that you have taken a stand for a great movie star who was also a great human being.

    Thanks to BOTH of you for sharing her with us..

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