Sister Rita Callanan is the last nun standing between Katy Perry and an 8-acre, $14 million convent in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz, and the 79-year-old isn’t going down without a fight. Perry has been in a protracted legal battle with the the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary over the former convent since 2015 when the nuns tried to block the Archdiocese of Los Angeles from selling the property to the “Roar” singer.
The battle took a tragic turn earlier this month when 89-year-old Sister Catherine Rose Holzman died after collapsing in court.
“To Katy Perry, please stop,” Holzman said in a KTTV interview shortly before her ill-fated court appearance. “It’s not doing anyone any good except hurting a lot of people.”
“Sister’s death has taken a toll on me. It really has,” Callanan told The Daily Beast earlier this week. “But I’m not going to give up.”
“To us it is holy ground,” Callanan added, referring to the Mediterranean-style villa the sisters purchased in 1972 after pooling their income teaching in local Catholic schools. From The Daily Beast:
The property dispute boils down to which party had the authority to sell. Sisters Rita and Catherine Rose have said they are the rightful owners and that the archdiocese put an end to retreats and other sources of revenue, evicted the sisters, and took over the convent.
The archdiocese says it became too costly for the retired sisters to remain living on the property and that it no longer accommodated their physical needs.
There are a lot of stairs, and it’s a really big space as well,” said Adrian Alarcon, a senior spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “A lot of the sisters now live in assisted living homes or retirement homes where they can get the proper care they need.”
Despite the fact that Perry said that she wants to live on the property with her mother and grandmother and “sit in the meditation garden, sip green tea and find herself,” the lone nun is unmoved.
“I just feel that Katy Perry is used to getting all she wants, and to her money means everything,” Callanan said, “and to her, whatever Katy wants, Katy gets.”
Callanan is running a GoFundMe campaign which has already raised $34,000 towards the fight to keep the convent.