A nun fighting with Katy Perry over a $12 million convent in Los Angeles is facing dwindling bank accounts and mounting health problems, New York Daily News reports.
At issue, Perry agreed to buy the 22,000-square-foot convent from the Royal Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles, but the nuns who lived there contend the property wasn’t the archbishop’s to give, and that they should be entitled to the proceeds of any sale.
Sister Rita Callanan, 80, told the DailyMail that in the midst of the fight, she is in a precarious position.
She is struggling with diabetes and breast cancer and doesn’t know how she’ll pay for treatment. Her bank account has no money. And her pantry is nearly empty.
Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, left, and Sister Rita Callanan stand outside the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary retreat in Los Feliz in 2015. Holzman collapsed and died during a court proceeding Friday.#JeanneMoralesAttorneyhttps://t.co/ewmSEKk0hS
— Jeanne Morales, Att (@JMoralesLaw) March 12, 2018
Callanan used to be secure. She is a member of the Order of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which was based in the convent in the Los Angeles suburb Los Feliz.
But then singer Katy Perry sought to buy the property in July 2015, striking a deal with the archdiocese.
Callanan and Sister Catherine Rose Holzman took legal action to block the purchase, arguing that their order has the right to sell the convent and not the church.
Just last week, Holzman collapsed and died in an LA courtroom during a hearing in the case.
Callanan has created a GoFundMe page to raise money for the order’s legal fees.
“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,” Callanan said. “There’s not many more years, give me a break. He’s supposed to be a chief shepherd.”
The archbishop claims that he got approval to take control of the convent in 2005 from the Vatican, but Callanan disputes that assertion and says the so-called approval was actually just a letter from a friend of the archbishop’s.
The archbishop eventually began sending the sisters to retirement homes to remove them from the convent, according to Callanan. She also said the sisters’ bank accounts, which had hundreds of thousands of dollars in them, were closed.
“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,” Callanan said. “We don’t want the archbishop handling our money.”
Callanan now lives in a small convent next to St. Bernadette’s Catholic Church in LA. She depends on a regular stipend from the church but said she barely makes ends meet.
“It’s caused us so much duress,” Callanan said. “I ask God: ‘What’s going on?’ ‘Cause it makes you question your faith. But I’ve got to believe. I have to say: ‘Lord increase my faith.’”
The archdiocese says it has always been concerned for the welfare of the nuns, but Callanan rejects that notion.
“It’s been a horrible fight for women who have been in religious life for so long who have done so much for our archdiocese,” Callanan said.
[Feature Photo: Katy Perry via AP/Felipe Dana]