Information for Pilgrims

Information for Pilgrims

Listed on this page is important information for pilgrims who will be travelling to Carfin Grotto for the visit of the Relics, especially on Sunday 1st September for the National Pilgrimage Mass. Pilgrims are urged to take note of the instructions below and are reminded of the importance to follow all guidelines.


Police Scotland have provide instruction regarding parking on the day of the National Pilgrimage. All pilgrims must follow these instruction to ensure the safety of all attending and courtesy to local residents.


People attending events at the Grotto should be aware that the area is mainly residential and there is very limited parking for private cars. Inconsiderate parking may result in increased traffic congestion adding to your inconvenience and impact on local residents. There will be very limited parking for private cars in the Grotto, in the car park of the Holy Ghost Fathers property and Our Lady and Saint Francis Primary School, both of which are directly across the road from the main entrance to the Grotto.


On the event day, Police Scotland would advise people to travel by organised coaches/buses. Volunteer stewards will be on duty at the drop off point. Local officers from the Community Policing Team will also support the event. A parking protocol will be in place as follows:


  • Buses/coaches will drop off passengers at the main gate to the Grotto (just beyond the Pilgrimage Centre on Newarthill Road) and be met by a steward.


  • A Parish representative on the bus will be expected to provide a contact telephone number for the driver to the steward.


  • A numbered information sheet will be provided to the driver.


  • There is no designated bus/coach parking area and drivers are requested to preplan where they intend to park until called forward by the stewards at the end of the event.


  • Suggested on street parking is available on the nearby Ravenscraig site off New Craig Road.

Pre-event Travel Advice

All coaches and private vehicles travelling along the M8 should exit at Junction 6A. Vehicles should then take the route for Holytown/Motherwell B799, A723 and B7027. At Newarthill Road at the entrance to the National shrine, once you drop off passengers, you will be directed by a steward to continue on the B7027. Left onto Glenmore Road, Loanhead Road to rejoin the A723.

Post-event Travel Advice

The reverse of the Pre-event route. Coaches will be assisted by stewards and the local policing team.


Pilgrims are advised to come dressed for the weather, since the Mass will celebrated outside.


Very limited amounts of food and drink will be on sale at the Xavier Centre and at the Pilgrimage Centre. It would be advisable for pilgrims to bring a packed lunch given the large numbers expected.

Information for Clergy

Priests are welcome to concelebrate at the National Pilgrimage Mass and should vest in the Chapel House. Chasubles and stoles will be provided. Please bring your own alb. Deacons are welcome to vest for the Mass and should bring their own alb and white stole.


We are again offering Confessions before the National Pilgrimage Mass, beginning at 1pm and concluding at 2.30pm. We would be grateful for any help that you may be able to give with these. Please make your way to the sacristy to vest and then to one of the positions in the Parish Church.