Superstar Katy Perry recently made a $14.5 million deal with Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez to purchase a hilltop property that was once the convent of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The convent in Los Feliz, which includes the Cardinal Timothy Manning House of Prayer for Priests, boasts several acres and offers million-dollar views of downtown Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Mountains.
On Saturday, the LA Times reported that the sisters had their own sale pending, and recently signed papers to sell the acreage and villa-style building to restaurateur Dana Hollister, for $15.5 million.
The diocese has sued Hollister, who has already moved in, in the hopes of voiding her purchase and paving the way for Perry to settle in.
TODAY reports that Perry even made a personal bid to be the new owner, attempting to please the sisters by singing the gospel tune “Oh Happy Day” and showing them the “Jesus” tattoo on her wrist.
Sister Rita Callanan said Perry told the nuns she wanted to live on the property with her mother and grandmother, sit in the meditation garden, sip green tea and find herself.
Before her days of international stardom, Perry released a Christian album under her legal name, Katy Hudson. One song on the album was titled, “Faith Won’t Fail.”
Despite her religious upbringing and past, the sisters, who range in age from 77 to 88, were unimpressed with the singer, still claiming the property belongs to them.
After doing research on the “California Gurls” singer, one sister said, “Well, I found Katy Perry and I found her videos and … if it’s all right to say, I wasn’t happy with any of it.”
Now, the former Christian-turned-popstar’s interest has sparked an argument over who has the legal rights to the property.
Years ago, 52 Immaculate Heart sisters lived on the property after pooling their own money and purchasing it from a benefactor. In 2011, the diocese relocated the sisters to other locations, against their will, according to Sister Catherine Rose.
Attorney Michael Hennigan told the LA Times three of the five sisters signed declarations that gave Gomez permission to sell the property, but Sisters Rita and Catherine Rose believe the others were coerced into allowing him this power.
Archdiocese spokesperson Monica Valencia said, “We have already entered and accepted the offer from Miss Perry. The Archbishop has made a promise to care for the sisters, and we want to do what’s best for them.”