Hy H. J. EDWABRRIDDSGEND
" Wales lived for centuries under the shadow of the ' Han 'the holy place of the church. Her children for centuries knelt at the altar rails and listened to the massing bell. Instructed by Dewi Sant and the throng of other holy men, not excepting those princes of the Church. the Cistercian monks, the Welsh achieved a sacred culture.
" Then came darkness, a darkness not altogether unrelieved, for Protestant worthies maintained some knowledge of, and devotion to, some truth, and now Wales is the prey of a sordid materialism and a fleshly paganism. The Conversion of Wales to the Faith of Wales is the one hope of Wales."
Thus did the Archbishop of Wales conclude his sermon in Welsh at High Mass as the National Eisteddfod opened at Bridgend last Sunday. He began by paying a tribute to the spirit of the Eisteddfod, though he at once urged that it was vain if it were unaccompanied by the Spirit of God.
Pointing to the Tabernacle, he spoke for some minutes with the fervour of the old Welsh revivalists
upon the Real Presence which after a lapse of time has returned to so many parts of Wales. There, was the source of revival; there, was the very Truth.
In the afternoon the Archbishop received visitors, both Catholic and non-Catholic. It was good to hear Fr. Gibbons, of Maesteg, chatting in Welsh to a young Catholic schoolmaster, once a curate of the Church of Wales (Anglican), and I myself began a conversation with Mr. Isaacs, a Welsh Catholic, who runs a large C.T.S. mookshelf.
Later, back in the church there was the recitation of the Rosary in Welsh. It was good to hear some of the laity responding in the expressive Welsh tongue.
IN WELSH Then the Archbishop gave Benediction. We recited Our Father and Hail Mary together, the prayer for Wales and even the Divine Praises in Welsh.
The organist played to us tunes of the great Welsh hymns. To hear Cant Rhondda on the organ of a Catholic church would probably surprise most Catholics; but it may be that just as the Church rescued the good things in paganism, so she will rescue the music of William Williams and the other sweet singers of Wales from the abyss.