Montebello : 60 Students Walk Out as Archbishop Speaks
About 60 Cantwell High School juniors walked out on a speech by Archbishop Roger M. Mahony last week in protest of his decision to hire Jesuits to replace the Order of Christian Brothers, which has run their Montebello school for 44 years.
Mahony was visiting the school to introduce Merrit Hemenway, the former principal of Bishop Amat Catholic School, as Cantwell High’s new principal. Shortly after Mahony began speaking, the students stood and silently walked out of the gym.
Mahony said he had expected some sort of protest. He said he felt sorry for the Christian Brothers but said that their order was dwindling and that the archdiocese decided the school needed stronger leadership.
Since news that the Christian Brothers would be leaving the school was announced in February, alumni, parents, faculty and most of the 200 students have been trying in vain to meet with Mahony.
The Christian Brothers will be leaving the school in June and July.