Welcome to the new website of St. Francis Xavier Parish and the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in the Diocese of Motherwell. Over the next few weeks you will see the website expand and grow. Please continue to visit it regularly.

We hope you will gain a flavour of the beauty and peace of this remarkable place and of the many ways in which the National Shrine and the Parish community bear witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our own day.

Saint Francis Xavier's Parish was founded in 1852 - this means that next year, 2012, we will celebrate the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of its foundation. This anniversary will be marked by a series of special events beginning with a special Mass in mid-November.

The National Shrine was founded and opened in 1922 - making it one of the oldest Shrines in the world in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes. The National Shrine also honours the life and work of the French Carmelite religious, Saint Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897), our secondary patroness, who was canonised in 1925.

The National Shrine was founded by Father Thomas Taylor (+1963), whose devotion to Our Blessed Lady and St Therese made such an impact on the Catholic Church in Scotland and in the North of England - thousands of pilgrims visited Carfin throughout each week between the 1920s and 1960s.

Today, the National Shrine welcomes around 45,000 pilgrims from throughout the British Isles and other parts of the world.