Perry’s talents earned her mansions. Surely the Christian thing to do would be to let the sisters spend their last years on Earth in their own convent

No Help from Vatican for Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

By —— Bio and Archives--May 10, 2018

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No Help from Vatican for Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Though it came to pass with zero mainstream or social media notice, Sister Rita Callanan’s heartfelt plea to Pope Francis to save the Los Angeles Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary convent from pop star Katy Perry fell on deaf ears.

Sister Callanan was last in the news when she told Britain’s Daily Mail that she was appealing directly to Pope Francis to intervene in her 3-year old legal battle with Perry even though Perry won the legal battle to buy the California convent in 2016.


So It must have come as the proverbial slap in the face when the79-year-old nun saw pictures of pious Perry being blessed by Francis at the Vatican, then days later sporting six-feet-wide ‘angel’ wings at the 2018 Met gala, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.

Not even the most fervent Catholic imagination could envision Perry, who recently extolled the virtues of Transcendental Meditation at the Vatican, could envision the extrovert pop star as an angel .

“I feel very angelic. Celestial. Ethereal,” Perry said of her look to The New York Times.” (Twitter)

The nuns who reached out to the pontiff as their last hope to keep their convent, felt very sick at heart.

As the late Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, who tragically died in a Los Angeles courtroom in the latest round of the epic court battle with Perry on March 9, 2018 once said when the pop star told the sisters, she wanted their stunning 22,000 ft Mediterranean-inspired property so that she can ‘sip green tea and find herself’: “Oh, Brother!”

Unlike super star Perry,  the nuns never lived in the L.A. fast lane.  In their humble status, they’d never attract the attention of Archbishop Georg Gänswein,  often called “Gorgeous George” who opened the doors for “Heavenly Bodies” to be flagrantly showcased during 2018’s Met Gala opening today.

Vestments and artifacts were loaned to Gala organizers by the Vatican.

As the New York Times pointed out “Archbishop Georg Gänswein said yes to the dress”.

“The dashing former right-hand man to Benedict XVI, the fashion-plate pope, he is now prefect of the papal household under the more austere Pope Francis. (New York Times, May 3, 2018)

“He’s like a movie star, it’s like meeting George Clooney,” Andrew Bolton,  curator in charge of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, said of the archbishop.

“Archbishop Gänswein, apparently on board, told Mr. Bolton to send an official request to Msgr. Guido Marini, the papal master of liturgical celebrations and the keeper of the sacristy.”

And unlike Katy Perry, the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary convent don’t play at being angels, they pray like them.

Prayers are needed for three of the original Immaculate Heart of Mary nuns, left bereft by a 3-year court battle with Perry.

“Now Sister Rita Callanan says she’s been left with nothing in the ongoing legal fight.” (Daily Mail, March 17, 2018) 


“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.

“Perry had a £10m bid accepted by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of LA, headed by Archbishop Jose Gomez, who claims the convent is under its ownership.
“But the nuns said it was theirs to sell and they had found a buyer in property developer Dana Hollister. 

“Hollister filed for bankruptcy and lists Perry’s company - The Bird’s Nest, LLC, as one of her creditors to whom she owes £3.73m

“The 32-year-old singer tried to buy it without the nuns’ permission. She agreed to a deal with the Roman 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 £10 million in July 2015.

“The convent sits in the uber trendy Los Angeles suburb of Los Feliz and is today worth in excess of £10 million. The order of nuns say they have owned it for 45 years.


But Sister Callanan going on 80 and her late fellow Sister,  Catherine Rose Holzman, 89, had long claimed that it’s been the Order’s property for 45 years and it’s their right to sell it and nobody else’s.

In the hope of being able to live out the rest of their lives in the convent, the sisters found a buyer in property developer Dana Hollister.

“Sister Callanan has vowed to keep on fighting and asked the public to help the cause, setting up a GoFundMe page to help with their legal costs. (Daily Mail)

“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.’

“In 2005, Archbishop was supposedly given the go-ahead by the Vatican to take control of the convent although this point is now being disputed. A ‘pontifical commissary’ was put in place - like a conservator of the estate - who assumes responsibility for the sisters.

“But Sister Callanan says: ‘He 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.”

It was another kind of angels that some people were thinking about when Perry showed up for photo ops at the 2018 Met Gala, in a pair of angel wings that spanned nearly six feet.

Angels of the kind of sisters in the historic order of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary who pray for Sister Holzman,  whose haunting last words to Perry before collapsing and dying in court were:“And to Katy Perry, please stop.” ”It’s not doing anyone any good except hurting a lot of people.”

Perry’s talents earned her mansions.  Surely the Christian thing to do would be to let the sisters spend their last years on Earth in their own convent.

The sisters remain faithful in their prayer for Sister Holzman: “Rest with the angels our most precious treasure”.

An earnest prayer for which the Vatican of the day seems to have no time.


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Judi McLeod -- Bio and Archives | Comments

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Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com.

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