By a Staff Reporter All Wales Is a sea of song, " Mor o gan yw Cymru gyd I " but last week the sea poured into Dolgelley for the National Eisteddfod of Wales and strong with the tide came Catholics, friends of the land of the leek, from many parts of Britain, Ireland and overseas.
On Wednesday, third day of the Eisteddfod, the beautiful little church of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, was packed to standingroom for a special service of Benediction, with prayers, hymns and sermon in Welsh.
In fluent Welsh, Fr. John Maddock, U.S.S.R., of Machynlleth, said that many people living in the remote villages and hamlets had never seen a Catholic church or a priest. Many Welsh people attending the Eisteddfod would be surprised to know that there is a Catholic church in the town. " Pray without ceasing for the conversion of Wales," said /r. Maddock. " Pray to bring bads this land to the Church founded by Christ to he the Ark of salvation for all."
Among those attending the Benediction were representatives of Cyfeillion Cymru. the friends of Wales movement, Cylch, the Catholic Action organisation of Wales, and An tOireachtas, the Irish counterpart of Eisteddfod.
Some fifty years ago it was decided that there should be organised for Ireland an annual Gaelic cultural festival which would take the place in Irish life that " An Mod" did for Scotland and the Eisteddfod for Wales.
The Irish festival was called An tOireachtas, sliich means a hosting or gathering, and was first held on May 17, 1897, under the presidency of Dr. Douglas Hyde. Before establishing . the festival the Gaelic League sent representatives to the Welsh Eisteddfod to study the organisation. Representatives last week were Mr. Aindrias 0 Muimhneachain, of the parish of the Sacred Heart, Dublin, and Mr. Liam 0 Cearbhaill, Church of the Holy Family, Dublin.