During the continued legal battle over ownership of a historic Los Angeles convent, one nun died during court proceedings and another is in dire financial trouble.
Since 2015, two nuns from the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary have been battling singer-songwriter Katy Perry over their former home.
Daily Mail reports “The 32-year-old singer tried to buy it without the nuns’ permission. She agreed a deal with the Royal Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles (RCA), headed by Archbishop Jose Gomez, who claims the convent is under its ownership and sold it to Perry for [just under $14 million] £10 million in July 2015.”
After living in the convent for more than 40 years, the sisterhood did not wish to sell it to the star and instead sold it to a property developer for only $40,000.
“Sister Callanan and her fellow Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, 89 – a combined age of 169 years – claimed that it’s been the Order’s property for 45 years and it’s their right to sell it. They found a buyer in property developer Dana Hollister,” Daily Mail reports.
Perry, along with the Archdiocese, sued Hollister for her involvement and argued the archbishop had rights to sell the property, not the sisterhood.
As we previously reported, the lengthy court battle of the LA estate between the two Catholic nuns and the pop icon took a tragic turn as 89-year-old Sister Catherine Rose Holzman died in court during a hearing.
After the nun’s tragic death, Sister Rita Callanan is continuing alone in the fight against Perry and the Royal Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles (RCA).
Nearly three years later and the legal proceedings continue.
Sister Callanan is struggling financially and may be unable to afford her cancer treatments because of the legal struggle.
Per Daily Mail:
Struggling with ill-health, including breast cancer, Sister Rita Callanan looks into her pantry for scraps of food and sees, yet again, only cereal.
Her bank balance is zero, her healthcare cheque has bounced on more than one occasion and she’s not sure who’s going to foot the bill for her next round of cancer treatment.
Now 80 years old, she scratches her head in bemusement as to how this has all happened. A few years ago, she had hundreds of thousands in the bank and was a paper millionaire.
The report describes the nun as “one of the few remaining sisters alive, who belong to the historic Order of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Los Angeles” and said “her future was secure. That is until Katy Perry came along.”
She says: ‘On March 9th, 2018 we tragically lost Sister Catherine Rose, my beloved fellow IHM Sister and original organizer of this GoFundMe campaign. She was my cherished partner in this ongoing legal battle to keep our convent. It is now more important than ever to continue this fight and for our cause to prevail.’
Independent of who is right or wrong, amid such a complex legal battle, there’s the human cost. Sister Callanan is suffering from cancer and diabetes while multi-millionaire Perry told the nuns that she wants the stunning 22,000ft Mediterranean-inspired property so that she can ‘sip green tea and find herself’.
“All we are asking is to sell our own property, keep our own money so we can take care of ourselves until the last person dies, then the money and property can go to the archbishop. There’s not many more years, give me a break. He’s supposed to be a chief shepherd,” Sister Callanan said.
And, of the legal argument, “[The archbishop] claimed that Rome gave him permission, now we did a lot of research and Rome has done research, and these claims, this letter to give him authority was not from Rome, but a friend of the archbishop’s.”
“All these years of my religious life, I would never have expected to be fighting an archbishop to keep our own property and money, so we can care for ourselves. We don’t want the archbishop handling our money,” she also said, per Daily Mail.
Here’s even more:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
She lives frugally and can’t buy expensive groceries, as she now has to rely on a stipend – a regular sum of expenses – from the RCA, which she says is barely enough to survive and was reduced this month. She says the archdiocese refuses to pay any of their legal bills.
‘My health insurance has only been partly paid recently – I got cancellation notice from health insurance, as they didn’t pay the bill, so I had to borrow money from a friend as I didn’t want it cancelled. I was two months in arrears. They better pay it back to me.
‘I have health issues, I have diabetes and breast cancer. They don’t pay some of the bills on time, I said when it comes to this sort of insurance, you have to pay it. I don’t know if I’m covered, I’m supposed to be, that’s all I know. Sister Catherine Rose had an unpaid medicine bill for £500 then she made out a check to the pharmacy and it bounced. It’s horrible.
‘He is claiming he’s taking care of us, that’s not true. We send bills up there and they don’t get paid. I get my stipend, but it’s not leaving my enough for living expenses for the way the cost of living has risen groceries.
‘I pay automobile costs, supermarket fees, magazine subscriptions, and also running a house isn’t cheap. I’ve got family members who are very sick, close family members have died including my own sister, there’s so many things, it’s just punishment.