Nun dies during court hearing over disputed sale of Los Angeles convent

Archbishop José Gomez offers condolences on death of Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, 89, one of two sisters who opposed sale of Los Feliz convent to Katy Perry

Sisters Catherine Rose Holzman, second left, and Rita Callanan, center, is escorted by Dana Hollister. (photo: AP)

Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, IHM, one of the five remaining members of the Immaculate Heart of Mary community, died suddenly on March 9 at the age of 89.  

Sister Catherine Rose had recently been involved in litigation surrounding the community’s Los Feliz property, which has been vacant since 2011 because it became too costly for the retired sisters to maintain and no longer accommodated their physical needs.   

“Sister Catherine Rose served the Church with dedication and love for many years and today we remember her life with gratitude,” said Archbishop José Gomez in a statement on her passing. “We extend our prayers today to the Immaculate Heart of Mary community and to all her friends and loved ones.”

Sister Catherine Rose and another sister were the only members of the order that had opposed plans to sell the religious order’s vacant property on Waverly Drive to singer Katy Perry for more than $14 million. The sale included the condition that Perry would also find a suitable replacement for the Cardinal Manning House of Prayer for Priests, which was also part of the property.

Real estate developer Dana Hollister entered into a separate deal with the two sisters without the necessary requirements for approval by the Archdiocese. The Hollister deal allowed Hollister to take possession of the property for only $44,000 and a promissory note without any guarantee that the sisters would receive any additional payment.

Multiple court rulings found the Hollister deal invalid. In December 2017, an LA judge ordered her to pay back millions in legal fees to Perry, the IHM Institute and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles—to whom the Vatican had entrusted oversight of the order’s business affairs in 2005.

“The Archdiocese was forced to take legal action against Dana Hollister to protect the sisters from what the courts found to be a ‘bad deal,’” explained Archdiocesan spokeswoman Adrian Marquez Alarcon. “Regardless of any sale the Archdiocese has pledged to take care of all the IHM Sister for the rest of their lives.”

Sister Catherine Rose Holzman died while accompanying Dana Hollister to Hollister’s bankruptcy hearing.  Hollister had filed bankruptcy on March 6, 2018 after the Superior Court of California had found Hollister acted with oppression, fraud and/or malice, and the jury awarded a total of approximately $15 million in additional damages to be paid by Hollister to the IHM Institute, the Archdiocese and to Perry’s Company, The Bird Nest, LLC.

Full story at Angelus.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If this article is accurate, it is really difficult to think how anybody of sound mind would think $44,000 was adequate compensation for any beach view property in California.

  2. May Sister Catherine Holzman, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

  3. Michael McDermott says:

    I have yet to see any articles on Why this property could not be Repurposed for other Catholic Service?

    Is there something going on behind the curtain that says what looks like selling the family cow for some expensive beans is a sound move – Financially and for the Good of the Church

    I would be disheartened to learn that the money went to pay (attorneys and others) for the Ephebophile Abuse scandal, particularly if it was One Option of Many – and leaders took the easy road for some fast cash

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