CBMC Bulletin - Inaugural 1st Edition
Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 8 December 2021.
Please click the arrow in the top-right corner to see at full size.
A feature on the cause, published in the Catenian Association monthly magazine, 'Catena'.
An article from the Archdiocese of Birmingham
A Portrait of Brother Michael
With grateful thanks to artist Colin Bentley, here is the captivating portrait, commissioned by HCPT, of its founder, Brother Michael.
On seeing the picture at the launch Mass, Colin writes, ‘It was quite overwhelming sitting there looking at the portrait that’s hung in my studio for the last few years. I feel deeply proud that I’ve played a small part in this very special occasion. It’s made me realise that the portrait will still be part of that amazing journey way beyond my lifetime. It’s something I feel deeply proud of.’
Portrait of Brother Michael Strode Oil on canvas,
40 by 50cm Artist – Colin Bentley © 2021 Colin Bentley
From the Catholic Herald and ICN
The Catholic Herald has written about the cause here: https://catholicherald.co.uk/campaign-begins-to-recognise-michael-strode-m
And the Independent Catholic News https://www.indcatholicnews.com/news/43556
PRESS RELEASE - 29th November 2021
The founder of a charity that has helped many thousands of children and adults with
disabilities to visit the shrine to Our Lady in Lourdes is the subject of a call for
testimonials that could lead to his being declared a saint.
On Tuesday 7 December, Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh
celebrated a Mass at Our Lady of Victories Church, Kensington to mark the start of a
process that it is hoped will lead to the canonisation of Brother Michael Strode, a
Cistercian monk of Caldey Abbey: the launch of a website of the Committee for Brother
Michael’s Cause (CBMC) and the beginning of an appeal for testimonials that could
support the Cause.
Brother Michael died on 27 December 2019, aged 96. He is perhaps best known, to
Catholics in the UK and beyond, as the founder of HCPT, the charity that for more than
65 years has organised pilgrimages to Lourdes for people with disabilities.
Richard King, the Chairman of CBMC, said: “In his devotion to the care of disabled
children and adults, Brother Michael was living out his love of humanity, firmly rooted
in his deep spiritual life. If the Cause succeeds, a modern-day saint would be a
tremendous example of love and service for the Catholic Church in Britain.”
Born in 1923, Michael Strode became a Catholic in 1945. Trained as a doctor, in 1953
he was appointed to Chailey Heritage, a hospital school for disabled children in
Sussex, where he remained until his retirement in 1988.
In 1956 he founded the charity now known as HCPT (Hosanna House and Children’s
Pilgrimage Trust). He insisted that disabled children be accommodated not in austere
hospitals but in small ‘family’ groups in hotels, so they could live their week (a ‘holiday
with Our Lady’) with their helpers - an idea that in the 1970s was extended to disabled
adults. A great number of young helpers have, over the years, learned to give
themselves to others and so actively participate in the Church and the wider
community. This inspired approach has been copied by many other pilgrimages.
In 1991 he joined the island community of Cistercian monks at Caldey. Here he lived
a monastic life of prayer until in 2016 his health declined and he spent his last years at
Nazareth House, Cardiff.
The Abbot of Caldey, Father Daniel van Santvoort said: “As a monk, his existence
became a life sacrificed to God, to his brothers, to all his friends and family in a life of
silence, prayer, service and dedication. This step certainly did not change him, in fact,
it was grace at work in him that brought out his unique humanity for everyone to see –
the beam of laughter and joy in his eyes, his ability to welcome life in a pure, childlike
way, and a great sense of fun that is (almost) inimitable.”
Notes to editors
1. For further details please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
. This project has been instigated by the Committee for Brother Michael’s
Cause (CBMC), a group of people who have been inspired by his humility, his
Christian witness and his holy life.