“They’ll have to kill me first”

Nun opposing Katy Perry's purchase of LA convent appeals to Pope Francis

Sister Rita Callanan, 80, left, and restaurateur Dana Hollister walk inside the main room of a villa at the former convent in Los Feliz. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

A nun fighting Katy Perry’s purchase of a former convent is fired up and reaching out to a higher authority — Pope Francis himself — to intervene in the case that has brought the “Roar” singer a rash of negative publicity.

“They’ll have to kill me first if they want to keep me quiet,” Sister Rita Callanan, 80, told Fox News this week, referring to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which she said wrongly sold the property to Perry. “I am asking Pope Francis to intercede.”

Callanan and her attorneys hope the pontiff will review the case and speak to the Signatora, the highest court in Rome. “It’s like the U.S. Supreme Court,” according to Callanan. 

The nun says the death last month of Sister Catherine Rose Holzman – a close friend and ally in the fight over the sale of their order’s convent on eight acres in the Los Feliz area – has motivated her to stay in the battle, despite urgings by doctors and friends to drop the matter for health reasons. 

Callanan and Holzman, who was 89, vowed they would fight to the end for the property the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary owned for more than 40 years. That ended when, as the nuns tell it, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles forced them out.

Callanan said she, Holzman and other nuns who lived at the property had seen it as their “Motherhouse,” where they would grow old together, and look after one another.

The letter to Pope Francis, in which Callanan also appeals for a meeting with the pontiff, says the nuns “were promised that we would always be taken care of by the archdiocese and that we would live out the rest of our lives at our convent. After we are all gone, the Archbishop would inherit our property … Archbishop Gomez has broken these promises to us.”

“He tried to sell our convent without our approval to a person whom we do not support. It is the pop star Katy Perry,” the letter reads. “We do not agree with her lifestyle that has strayed far from any faith … At the end of our lives, we find ourselves fighting for justice and for what is right.”

The archdiocese sold the property to Perry for $14.5 million, but the Vatican must give its approval before the deal is considered final. 

Archdiocese officials deny they broke any agreement with the nuns, and say they have acted with their best interests in mind.

“The main concern of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is and has always been the care and well-being of all the … sisters,” Adrian M. Alarcon, director of media relations for the archdiocese, told Fox News on Wednesday. Alarcon said the property has been vacant since 2011 “because it became too costly for the five remaining sisters to maintain and no longer accommodated their physical needs.”

Full story at Fox News.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Amazing how Archbishop Gomez has spared no expense in legal fees to fight in this matter for years yet he doesn’t do a single thing to correct anything that’s wrong with the Religious Education Congress nor his chancery staff. Priorities? Yes, indeed. Priorities. Values? Yes, indeed. Values.

  2. Money, money, money, in a rich man’s world.

  3. Remember, o most gracious Francis, that forever was it known that she who fled to your protection, implored thy help, or sought thine appeal was left unaided…

  4. Linda Maria says:

    Sadly, the nuns’ religious order went to pieces, after Vatican II. All the nuns left, and their religious order died. A Motherhouse is needed for a flourishing religious order! I am very sorry for these poor, elderly nuns! They were tricked and betrayed, by the too-fickle Church they served so well, in their prime years!

  5. helen wheels says:

    Sister Rita continues to serve in pro-life
    ministry, helping, among others, at-risk
    young ladies. She lives her vow of poverty.
    I think the luciferian overtones of the
    celebrity really trouble her. perhaps
    we should pay attention,.

  6. Linda Maria says:

    In San Francisco, I felt so sorry for parishioners of St. Brigid’s Church, when the Archbishop closed its doors, and sold it off! Tragic! The parishioners tried all they could, to save their church– but as usual– nothing worked!! Too bad the notorious Most Holy Redeemer Church is always thriving– too bad the Archbishop couldn’t shut down that one– and find a way, to help a good church, like St. Brigid’s, grow and thrive, instead of having to close its doors, and sell it off!! They keep saying that many more of our churches are probably going to be closed, in the future… really sad!!

  7. Is Sr. Rita living all alone in that big place? That doesn’t seem too safe too me.

  8. So who is restaurateur Dana Hollister. What’s her role? Wasn’t she the one out bidded by Perry. If Perry’s “lifestyle” isn’t good enough to buy the property, whose is? Would it be OK to sell it to the President for Trump Tower West? Just asking.

    • Anonymous says:

      She purchased the property at the request of the nuns. She offered more than Katy Perry. She was sued by the Archdiocese for scheming to keep Perry from buying the property. She was ordered to pay millions in legal fees. She is now bankrupt. It was at a hearing about her bankruptcy that the other sister passed away.

    • Your gratuitous jab at the President is telling.

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