Inside the stunning $14.5 million convent that a group of elderly nuns has been trying to stop Katy Perry from buying

The 30,000 square-foot estate features several fountains and swimming pools.

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The 30,000 square-foot estate features several fountains and swimming pools.
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Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

  • Pop star Katy Perry has been involved in a legal battle over some Los Feliz, California, real estate since 2013.
  • The “California Girls” singer tried to buy a former convent from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, but the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who purchased the house in 1972 and lived in it until 2011, sold it to California restaurateur and developer, Dana Hollister.
  • The heart of the debate lies in the fact that both the Archdiocese and the nuns believe they have the right to sell the property.
  • The Earle C. Anthony house, as the convent has been called by its designer, is a 30,000 square-foot hilltop estate with stunning views of the LA area and beautiful medieval-looking architecture.
  • Take a look inside the estate and learn about the group of sisters who have been trying to prevent Perry from turning their LA convent into her new home.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

For six years a Los Angeles convent has been at the center of a feud between Katy Perry and a group of nuns who used to live there.

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Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, left, and Sister Rita Callanan, right, pose in front of their former home.
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Mel Melcon/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: INSIDER


And after a bitter legal battle with the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) culminated in a shocking courthouse death in 2018, the last living nun fighting the pop singer’s $14.5 million purchase of her former home now says the singer ‘has blood on her hands.’

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Rich Fury/Stringer/Getty Images

Source: INSIDER


The Earle C. Anthony house — where the sisters lived — was designed by Bernard Maybeck and built in 1927.

Source: New York Times


Located in the Los Feliz area of southern California just a 20-minute drive from Los Angeles …

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Google Maps

Source: Billboard


… the estate has undergone a few transformations as it was passed from one owner to the next, though much of the original medieval-style architecture remains.

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Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Source: Stand With the Sisters/YouTube


The property is “so rare” because of the acreage, Josh Altman of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing” told Billboard. “If this was in Beverly Hills, it would be worth north of $50 million. One day this will easily be a $35 million-plus estate.”

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Google Maps

Source: Billboard


The opulent estate features more than 30,000 square feet of living space, an adjoining prayer house, and wraparound views of the mountains and cityscape.

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This lookout point faces Pasadena, California.
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Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Source: Billboard


It’s got several fountains around the property — like the one seen here featuring sculptures of cherubs — and a swimming pool near the main house.

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Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The interior has a medieval aesthetic with domed hallways and gothic sconces.

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Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The attention to detail continues even onto the ceiling design.

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Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The estate has been used as a filming location for several TV shows and movies like “My Name is Earl” and “90210.” Leasing out the space was one way the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who lived in the house from 1972 through 2011, were able to generate an income.

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Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Source: INSIDER


The house was built for its eponymous owner, Earle C. Anthony, who was a radio broadcaster and automobile distributor, according to the Curbed Los Angeles.

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Courtesy of Michael Locke

Source: Curbed Los Angeles


In the early 1950s, Sir Daniel Donohue and his wife Countess Bernardine Murphy Donohue bought the property. Mr. Donohue, a Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, lived on the estate with his wife until she died. He then sold the estate to the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary order in LA.

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Courtesy of Michael Locke

Source: Stand With the Sisters/YouTube


The history of the sisters dates back to 1848 Spain. The group was initially founded under the name Daughters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, according to Diane Winston, an associate professor and expert in media and religion at the University of Southern California, Annenberg.

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Splash News

According to Winston’s research, the bishop of California invited a group of 10 sisters to come to California from Spain. The sisters initially worked with the poor, but in 1886 they expanded their efforts into the realm of Los Angeles education.

According to the IHM sisters of LA, their order is a “pontifical order” – which they say means they answer to the pope, not the archdiocese.

Source: The Conversation, Stand With the Sisters/YouTube


The Los Angeles Times reported that at the time of the purchase — and for a few years following — 52 sisters lived on the property. Holzman said Donohue allowed the sisters to set up an installment plan for the Los Feliz house that lasted for six years.

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Sir Daniel Donohue (right) and actress Loretta Young (left) at a fundraiser.
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Ron Galella/Contributor/Getty Images

Sister Catherine Rose said Donohue was their “friend, benefactor, and supporter” – she said he would send them checks. She also said he would come to visit the sisters even after he moved out, joining them in the dining room for green tea where he’d entertain the sisters.

Source: Stand With the Sisters/YouTube, New York Times, INSIDER, Los Angeles Times


According to the sisters, after they had been living on the property that they bought, they allowed Cardinal Timothy Manning, the Archdiocese of LA, and with Father John D. McAnulty, a Jesuit priest, to open the House of Prayer — a priest retreat on the property.

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Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images

“It started off with Father McAnulty – a Jesuit priest – coming to ask … could he have a room so that he could do spiritual direction with priests?” Sister Rita Callanan said. “He was given a room,” she added, emphasizing the fact that he was originally given a single room.

She said that after requesting more and more space, he was eventually given his own building, which was the original house of prayer on the property.

Source: Stand With the Sisters/YouTube, Los Angeles Times


According to Callanan, the priests had access to the building from September through June. In the summer months, she said it was used for retreats hosted by the sisters. She said it was also used as a guest house where visiting sisters could stay. Once McAnulty said he needed more space, the sisters lost their seasonal access to the guest house and could no longer host retreats, Callanan said.

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LW A./Yelp

Source: Stand With the Sisters/YouTube


Another piece of the estate dubbed Donohue Manor was built in 1985. It was a place where older retired and sick sisters could live out their lives.

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Courtesy of Michael Locke

According to the sisters, in 1992, the IHM sisters entered into an agreement with the archdiocese that granted them the right to turn to the Archbishop for financial help if they ever needed. In exchange for their financial security, the sisters granted the Archdiocese the right to their property once all of the sisters have died.

The agreement also appoints the Vatican as the sole mediator should there be any disagreements between the sisters and the Archdiocese.

Source: Stand With the Sisters/YouTube


In 2011, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles reportedly “forced” the remaining sisters to leave the property. Holzman said, according to Billboard, that she thought it was “because they were trying to sell our property. They had been trying to for years even when we lived there. But none of us ever wanted to leave.”

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Courtesy of Michael Locke

Source: Billboard, INSIDER


Even though they moved out in 2011, the wall by the front gate of the estate still said “Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” as of 2015.


When Perry expressed interest in wanting to buy the estate in 2013, Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez suggested she reach out to the sisters and meet with them to discuss the sale, the LA Times reported.

Source: Archbishop Gomez, Los Angeles Times


The Los Angeles Times reported that Perry “dressed conservatively,” sang “Oh Happy Day” for the sisters, and showed them a “Jesus” tattoo she has on her wrist — all in hopes of winning them over.

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Logan Fazio/Contributor/Getty Images

Source: Los Angeles Times


The LA Times reported that some of the sisters were convinced and agreed to sell the property to Perry, but two of them, Sister Rita Callanan and Sister Catherine Rose Holzman, decided to go in another direction.

Source: Los Angeles Times


The pair wanted to sell the property to Dana Hollister, a restaurateur and developer in the Los Angeles area.

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Al Seib/Contributor/Getty Images

The sisters believed the property was theirs to sell, while the Archbishop believed that right belonged to the archdiocese. This dispute led to a debate that has reportedly been going on since 2013.

Source: INSIDER


Holzman said they wanted to sell to Hollister because they believed she would keep the property open to the public — which they said Donohue wanted — by turning it into a hotel.

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Mel Melcon/Contributor/Getty Images

Even though they wanted to sell to Hollister – and ultimately did for $15.5 million – the Archdiocese had also completed a sale with Perry for $14.5 million.

Perry sued Hollister for interrupting her purchase – Hollister filed for bankruptcy after.

Source: Stand With the Sisters/YouTube, Curbed Los Angeles, INSIDER


Debates and legal proceedings have been going on since Perry visited the sisters. In 2018, after several years of court hearings, Holzman reportedly asked Perry to “Please stop” trying to buy the property just before she entered another hearing — this time to support Hollister in bankruptcy court. Holzman collapsed and died during that same hearing, and now Callanan has reportedly said Perry “has blood on her hands.”

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Sister Catherine Rose Holzman
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Stand With the Sisters/YouTube

Source: INSIDER


The sisters believe this real-estate war is more than just a property dispute — it’s a women’s rights issue, according to their “Our Story” video.

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Stand With the Sisters/YouTube

Source: Stand With the Sisters/YouTube


While Los Angeles courts sided with Perry, the Vatican has yet to make a decision. The estate is currently back on the market.

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Courtesy of Michael Locke

Source: Curbed Los Angeles