On Sunday, June 9, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles released the following statement in response to a tabloid report regarding the well-being of Sister Rita Callanan, IHM.

Despite a recent tabloid report, Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister Rita Callanan, one of three remaining Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Sisters in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, is doing well and receiving professional care at a rehabilitation center after a recent surgery. The main concern of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is and always has been the care and well-being of all the IHM Sisters. More than 10 years ago, as the members of the order declined to only five elderly Sisters, the Archbishop of Los Angeles undertook responsibility for their future care and well-being. Since then, the Archdiocese has continuously provided, on behalf of the IHM Institute, for all the living, medical and other costs for care of Sister Rita and all remaining IHM Sisters.

The IHM Sisters have been living at independent retirement homes under continual care since 2011, after their former convent became vacant because it could no longer accommodate their physical needs, and after the property became too costly for the retired Sisters to maintain. In 2014, the five remaining IHM Sisters agreed to have the Archdiocese sell their former convent on behalf of the IHM Institute, with the proceeds from any sale to be used by the IHM Institute for the care and well-being of all the remaining IHM Sisters. 

In 2015, the Archdiocese, on behalf of the IHM Institute, entered into an agreement with singer Katy Perry for Ms. Perry to purchase the property for $14.5 million. Before Ms. Perry could close, an unauthorized grant deed was recorded against the property. The ensuing litigation to return the title to the IHM Institute took years. The Archdiocese fully supported all of the Sisters throughout this process to ensure they were cared for during this lengthy legal battle.

The Archdiocese has always sought to act in the best interest of all IHM Sisters, both to fulfill their request to sell the Institute’s property and to provide for their care. The Archdiocese considered Ms. Perry’s all-cash offer to be the best offer for the Institute and for the Sisters. It provided the IHM Institute with funds sufficient for the continued care of the Sisters. It also assured that the property would be used as a family home instead of for commercial purposes, allowing for the property to be restored and maintained with respect for its rich history.  Ms. Perry has respected the process for the sale of the property and has expressed shared concern for the Sisters throughout this matter. 

While the formal legal option on the property has expired, the Archdiocese and Ms. Perry continue to be in communication concerning her continued interest in the property. Regardless of any sale, the Archdiocese has and will continue to provide and care for all the IHM Sisters for the rest of their lives.