In his long life, Brother Michael inspired so many people in so many ways. This page has been created to allow you to leave your memories of him - and how he influenced and inspired your life.
Posted by Richard King on December 27, 2019
So many memories over 50 years! But (apart from his genuine humility which he showed endlessly) two stand out: (a) his initially doubting the need for a Stage group to build a relationship with the Lourdes authorities (in 1981, at a time of mutual suspicion between the two organisations!) and his very swift and generous acknowledgement of its value; (b) his infectious enthusiasm and great clarity whenever we discussed plans for special events - notably on a visit to Caldey with Caroline Bennett (RIP) and Andy Clare in 2015 to discuss the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. He was truly an inspiration.
Posted by Michele Mann-Jones on December 27, 2019
You held my hand and thanked me for brining a group to Lourdes. I told you to look around at all the people coming out of the Trust Mass and told you it was YOU that made all this possible. You said ‘you came , you did it, God Bless you.’ You will always be in my heart and in my prayers.
Posted by Joanne O'Brien on December 27, 2019
I started travelling with HCPT in 1997 & was lucky enough to meet my husband in Lourdes and 21 yrs later we have 2 wonderful boys. In the last year I have had the pleasure of seeing Brother Michael in Nazareth House & am so appreciative of all the work he did. I have many wonderful memories of traveling with HCPT & it is all thanks to him. Rest in Peace Brother Michael ❤
Posted by Maureen Clare on December 27, 2019
I went to Lourdes in 1961 Father Maurice Brynes was our priest. We went with the National School Pilgrimage Trust we had train coaches at the back of the train.  There were 80 people in total along with Bishop Bright. I shall always be grateful to brother Michael who inspired my love of our Lady. I have just seen a photo of Pat Hall with Michael Strode he was in the same group in 1961.
You made children's dreams come true. So grateful RIP
Posted by Claire Donovan on December 27, 2019
When I think of Michael, the memories come flooding back of many years in Lourdes with the HCPT and Hosanna House. The love, and joy, new friends made and old ones reunited, the hope ignited, the palpable essence of God's presence with us, anything was possible and we did it all. All thanks to Michael's first steps and ongoing leadership and encouragement. So many friends who have gone before us to welcome him into his new Life.
Posted by David Hall on December 27, 2019
Doc was an extraordinary man and an inspiration to so many. His humility and kindness was of a kind, that it was a privilege to have known him and shared our, tours of duty, to Lourdes in Group 14.

He was a generation apart and he will be sorely missed in all our hearts .

Today is filled with personal sadness but also the joy of having had the honour to have met and enjoyed time with Doctor Michael.

I’ve kept a HCPT top we all wore to Lourdes many years ago, in celebration of Docs time in Lourdes with Group 14 .

God bless him


Posted by Patrick Sherlock on December 27, 2019
To the end, Brother Michael was intensely interested in the ethos and development of HCPT and sincerely humble about his role, and the role of all of us, as instruments of God's love for the children and vulnerable adults entrusted to our care. It is God's gracious love which changes lives. May Brother Michael now experience fullness of life, freed from infirmity, in the company of Jesus, Mary and the saints in heaven.
Posted by David Torchala on December 27, 2019
Toute la communauté de travail du Sanctuaire de Lourdes s'associe par la prière et fait mémoire du Frère Michael Strode, fondateur de l'un des plus grand pèlerinage de Lourdes. Se souvenir de lui n'est pas seulement se rappeler le passé mais le rendre présent ! Saluons son audace missionnaire en faveur des plus petits. RIP Brother Michael.
Posted by GERARD CAMPBELL on December 27, 2019
Thank you for for the last 40 years that I have been working with HCPT. You were an inspiration to many. RIP Br. Michael
Posted by Richard Dean on December 27, 2019
Brother Michael travelled with Group 14 his original group, and I remember an 8 year old called Ben asked him whether he thought it had all been worthwhile. Br Michael's full attention was on Ben - it was an intense almost magical moment. The children always got his attention before others

Posted by Julian Hall on December 27, 2019
Dearest Doc As I will always remember him. A truly unique character that gave selflessly all his life and lifted the hearts and spirits of anyone he met. The Hall's have been blessed to be able to say we knew Doc and were so fortunate to be able to share time with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time and we look forward to celebrating his life along with so many others despite the sadness that his loss brings. 
Posted by Gerry Teague on December 27, 2019
I travelled with Michael in1966 Group 1. Michael you changed my life, you brought so much joy, happiness and love to so many
Rest in peace Gerry Group 144
Posted by Julia Smith on December 27, 2019
Brother Michael, I just wanted to say RIP with the Lord. And even though we have never met I wanted to say thank you for changing my life! I travelled with HCPT both as a child and as an adult and without your wonderful creation of HCPT, I would never have found my faith, in year 2000 I followed the Lord and heard his call for the first time, I became a member of the catholic family! Now that was almost 20 years ago and you, through HCPT helped me to begin my faith journey. Thank you! RIP!
Posted by Rebecca Judge on December 27, 2019
you have helped us become better people. I will never forget the wonderful hug at the end of the trust mass. You will be sorely missed but I know for sure your memory and legacy will live on in the hearts of the people who were touched.
With love GL Bex, group 87
Posted by Rachel Hannan on December 27, 2019
Brother Michael created a wonderful legacy with the founding of HCPT. He has been responsible for so much joy and happiness through this organisation. He will be remembered with great affection and gratitude. May he rest in peace.
Posted by Brian J Surrey on December 27, 2019
I didn’t meet brother Michael personally but he realised my dream of traveling to Lourdes with hcpt41 and recently hcpt527. Rest in God’s love forever and pray for your family who mourn you and hcpt family who mourn you today
Posted by Sara Morgan on December 27, 2019
It was an absolute privilege to have spent an hour in Brother Michaels company at group 547’s pre union earlier this year. His passion for the HCPT and Lourdes was still evident. Your legacy will continue to grow at both Easter and Summer pilgrimages. May god now grant you eternal rest. Our lady pray for him, St Bernadette pray for him
Posted by Matthew Harper on December 27, 2019
Rest in peace Brother Michael. Your HCPT legacy will continue to bring joy and happiness to thousands of pilgrims as it always has done! Keep an eye on us at Easter (and any other time of year, if you're not busy!) x
Posted by Enna Thorns on December 27, 2019
Impossible to put into words how much I got to know and loved this gentle man when he came into HQ office in Banstead to check the Medical forms for the children going to Lourdes. Pray for us all Brother Michael. We will never forget you.
Posted by Annette Millett on December 27, 2019
Bless you Brother Michael. Your foresight in starting HCPT brought joy and happiness to many lives. It also was the start of many happy families. I thank you for the wonderful family life I have had which was created in Lourdes.
Posted by Chris Gregory on December 27, 2019
May you rest in peace in the arms of God. Your light will forever shine through your legacy of HCPT.
Posted by Susan Hind on December 27, 2019
I just want to say what a lovely man and has enhanced the lives of so many.
May he rest in peace now.
Posted by Seosaimhín Ní Dubhgail on December 27, 2019
First went to Lourdes with HCPT a few years ago as deputy leader of my schools group... have to say what Brother Michael created is incredible the young pupils we took as a service group will forever be changed for the good following the week. They truest understood how you get so much from giving.... thank you on their behalf and may You Rest in Peace.... love from 715
Posted by Anna Robinson on December 27, 2019
An incredible man, who has changed the lives of so many people.

If it wasn’t for his dedication to HCPT, I wouldn’t be where I am today. My closet friends are those who I met in Lourdes, and I am the proudest group leader of HCPT Group 25. This is all because I was able to travel with such an amazing organisation.

I have seen first hand what being in Lourdes, brings. I have spoken to so many families who have been so grateful, and I have watched young people flourish in such life-changing ways.

Sending my thoughts and prayers to all the family.
Posted by Kate Hutch on December 27, 2019
Brother Michael has changed so many of our lives. Without him I would be a completely different person. Because of him I am actively involved in my faith, leading a HCPT group (group 218), getting to change the lives of children and helpers alike and loving my life with my partner who I met through HCPT. None of this would have been at all possible without Brother Michael. I am forever grateful for his love, grace and support. Heaven has gained the greatest of angels. Thank you Brother Michael for all that you have done for us. May you rest in peace in heaven surrounded by your HCPT family.
Posted by Helen Cain on December 27, 2019
My father fondly remembers Brother Michael from his years at Chailey.

He was introduced to my mum at an old boys visit to Chailey (my dad’s fiancée) and was told that they were to be married, Br Michael was over the moon!

He was such a great guy, and touched so many hearts and lives.

Rest in peace Br Michael, you are fondly remembered by Chris Cain and family.
Posted by Ruth Beck on December 27, 2019
Where to start. What a man and what a legacy he has left. I can honestly say he has touched and changed so many lives. He will never ever be forgotten by anyone who has been to Lourdes with HCPT or will go in the years to come. Such a special man. Rest in peace
Posted by Laura MacKean on December 27, 2019
It is difficult to put into words how I feel at the loss of such a lovely man. He was not only an inspiration but a leader with such a gentle way. He never lost sight of the real meaning of HCPT and the work carried out by so many. May he rest in peace
Posted by Mike Fallon on December 27, 2019
God Bless Brother Strode. Thank you for starting the life changing HCPT movement and having a massive impact on so many lives. From all your friends at HCPT Group 7. Rest in Peace Brother
Posted by Diane Reid on December 27, 2019
A truly holy, inspirational man. Undoubtedly the greatest influence on my life for more than 25 years. May he rest in peace.
Posted by Rebecca Truscott on December 27, 2019
Thank you for starting the most loveliest Organization. You will be in my prayers from today and forever. When ever I go to Lourdes a candle will be light in your honour. I will keep your family and your friends in my prayers. Now go and say hello to all the HCPT supporters who have gone before you. RIP Brother Michael.
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Recent Tributes
Posted by Joseph Shinkwin on January 15, 2020
Brother Michael was a pen friend, and inspired me very much. I used to continually update him with the progress of the group, the children, the litergy and personal event. Letters used to fly to Caldey and back regularly. The responsibility of the role of the Group Nurse seemed less, with Brother Michaels' involvement. He really was a very special person. I am so glad tohave met him.
Such a true inspiration. Rest in Peace.
Posted by Bridget Hanlon on January 8, 2020
I feel blessed that I have had the opportunity to sit and chat with Bro.Michael over the past few years. He was a truly humble, caring, compassionate, inspirational and deeply spiritual man. He will be missed by so many people, but his legacy lives on and will continue to grow.  Thank you
Rest in Peace Michael

Posted by Rachael Hulks on January 8, 2020
I met my husband through HCPT and we have two beautiful girls. Without Brother Michael's vision, I might not have the life I have now. Thank you for what you created. RIP
his Life
Doctor Michael Strode, or Brother Michael as he was often called after he became a Cistercian monk, was born in Woking (Surrey) on 5th June 1923.

He was educated at the Old Malthouse Preparatory School near Swanage from 1932 – 37 and then at Haileybury College until 1941. He decided to become a doctor and was accepted to train at St Thomas's Medical School in 1941, graduating from there in 1946 with a MB-BS from London University. During this time he became increasingly attracted to the Catholic faith, and was received into the Church on September 15th 1945. Michael's first appointment was as Junior Medical Officer at St Thomas's and he served in this post from November 1946 until he was called to do National Service in 1947. He elected to join the Navy and became a Surgeon Lieutenant in the RNVR in this year. Regrettably, towards the end of his service, he contracted pulmonary tuberculosis.

At this time there was no quick cure for this disease and Michael had to spend most of 1949 in the naval hospital at Haslar, where he started to make a slow recovery. This was completed when he transferred to the King Edward VII Chest Hospital at Midhurst in Sussex, but not until late in 1950. When he was well again Michael decided to update and expand his medical experience fairly rapidly (bearing in mind that it had been over three years since he had left St Thomas's), and took three appointments in fairly quick succession. These were as House Physician at King George V Chest Hospital, House Physician at St James's Hospital in Balham and Resident Medical Officer at the Sydenham Children's Hospital, from which he left to join Chailey Heritage in July 1953. He worked at Chailey until his retirement in December 1988.

Michael made his first pilgrimage to Lourdes in 1951, travelling with the Birmingham diocesan pilgrimage. In 1954 he and his friend Peter Keevney took a group of disabled children from Chailey to Lourdes as part of the Birmingham pilgrimage. This was a great success and two groups visited Lourdes from Chailey in 1955, one with the National Schools' pilgrimage at Easter and one in July, again with Birmingham. In 1956 HCPT was founded and the first Trust pilgrimage took place in 1957, Michael was unfortunately not able to take part since he had to be re-admitted to hospital with a recurrence of TB. However, this was soon overcome, and he was able to accompany the HCPT pilgrimage in the Lourdes centenary year of 1958.
Though not troubled by any recurrence of TB Michael suffered further health problems, notably an operation for a slipped disc in 1972 (when he attended the pilgrimage in a wheelchair) and a coronary thrombosis in 1986, which prevented him from coming on the pilgrimage. Happily he made a full recovery. During all these years Michael was playing a full part in the HCPT as Chief Medical Officer (until 1990) and as a Governor of the Trust. In 1975 he was awarded the KSG at the opening of Hosanna House. The last year in which he participated as a doctor with HCPT was in 1990. In October 1991 Michael entered a Cistercian community as an Oblate. He took simple vows on 4th June 1995 and made his final commitment as an Oblate on 7th June 1998. Since 2016 he has lived in a care home in Cardiff.

Right until the end of his life he still played a very active role in the running of HCPT – and last travelled to Lourdes to join the 2013 Easter pilgrimage, during which he was awarded the prestigious Médaille Notre-Dame de Lourdes in recognition of his long dedication to pilgrims and pilgrimages to the Shrine.
Recent stories
Shared by Vera Keech on December 31, 2019
On my first year travelling by boat and train as a Group Leader of Group 47 I had a very sick girl in the group, and on learning that Brother Michael was travelling on the same train it gave me great confidence,and needing help in the middle of the night he made no fuss about getting out of his bunk to come along to our group and help us, I found Brother Michael a very humble man always ready to help and chat to the young pilgrims on the week in Lourdes when he could be there with us.  May he rest in peace

Whitsun Pilgrimages

Shared by Tony Jarvis Jarvis on December 29, 2019
There was a short period of years when 5-6 HCPT Groups held an HCPT Pilgrimage Week over The Whitsun period instead of Easter. Dr Michael went with a Group to care for a child and not as the pre-eminent  doctor. I approached him and asked what he wanted me to do. He said ' you take the lead role as the pilgrimage doctor along with Dr Mike Everett, my chosen place is to be a volunteer helper only'. I felt touched and honoured, I saw first hand Dr Michael's profound humility.
Dr Tony
Shared by Alex Kydd on December 27, 2019
An inspiration to  many people to count children, adult ,volunteers, families, friends of all thoses that have travelled over the years and all the people who continue to supported  HCPT. The last time I meet Brother Michael was in  September 2019 Brother Michael joined the Welsh region to share our Cariad theme  thank you Mass at Nazareth House. It was a real privilege to be there with him. We are truely grateful for the work he did. 
My thoughts prayers are with Brother Michael's family, friends and everyone he have has touch through all his good works. There will be an extra bright light in the sky tonight looking down on us all Now and Always What a legacy he leaves 
here on earth.RIP