Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Seminarians Arrive Today!

It's not just 'River Fest' here in Cincinnati, it is also 'move in day' at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati's Mount St. Mary's Seminary, welcoming six new students, three from the Archdiocese, two from the diocese of Toledo, and one from the diocese of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

In addition to the three starting today at Mount St. Mary's, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati also welcomes three college seminarians to the fold, as they began their studies last week at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. Cincinnati's seminarians are: Joel Sackenheim, recently graduated from the University of Cincinnati and hails from St. Joseph Parish in Hamilton. Joining him in Pre-Theology are Chris Conlon of Holy Trinity Parish in Norwood, and Chris Patterson of St. James of the Valley in Cincinnati's Wyoming neighborhood, both of whom are graduates from Xavier University in Cincinnati.

Two of our three new college seminarians are new graduates from high school: David Doseck of Immacuate Conception in Botkins, Ohio, and Nick Rutherford of St. Thomas More Parish in Withamsville, on Cincinnati's far east side. David is a graduate from Botkins Public Schools, while Nick attended McNicholas Catholic High School. Joining them at the Josephinum is Timothy Fahey, who transfered from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. Tim is an alum of Middletown Fenwick Catholic High School and a native of Holy Family in Middletown.

Please keep these, and all of our 27 seminarians in your prayers.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I think I hit a nerve

First person up to me after the vigil Mass today nearly accosted me, he was quaking he was so mad. I stopped him, you need to call me so we can talk about whatever it is you think I said. He responds that I needed to call him, and I have no idea who he was, even though I've been to the parish a time or two. Don't worry, homily'll be posted tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Need an Excuse to Party?

I recieved the following e-vite, which was too good to not pass along:

On October 11, 1962, John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council. To me, this sounds like a good reason to have a Catholic dinner party. (Actually, we just needed another excuse to get together for another reunion, so work with me here! Uh, thanks for the idea Fr. E!)

Let's all celebrate the "spirit of Vatican II"! Bring your guitars and Carey Landry tunes! Bring your "Gather" hymnals and your felt banners! Get ready to sing "kumbaya" and hold hands! If you're nice to me, I'll even put on a liturgical dancing side show, complete with incense bowls! Let's do it up right like only our generation can! ;)

Sorry, I'm doing this potluck style guys. The coming months are crazy busy for me - and besides that, I suck at cooking, but we need to keep our Catholic Fellowship going - so let's party! I will provide pizza, beer and soft drinks. Can you each bring a side and/or a dessert?

GUESTS WELCOME! (But remember, we're all Catholic here!)

I love the sense of humor of Catholics.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Word on Homilies

Something for my priest buddies to discuss, mayhaps?

Despite its complexity, Father ViganĂ² pointed out two important aspects to ensure that a homily achieves its communicative objective: the consistency of the preacher's life and the brevity and concreteness of the message.
Quoting a phrase of St. Bernardine of Siena, patron of advertisers, the priest emphasized that the key lies in the clarity of the homily. "The preacher must speak very, very clearly, so that the listener will leave satisfied and illumined, and not dazzled."
In regard to consistency, the author recalled a phrase from philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, who said that "the difference between a pastor and an actor is precisely the existential moment: The pastor must be poor when he preaches about poverty; he must be slandered when he exhorts to endurance in slander. While the actor has the task of deceiving by eliminating the existential moment, the preacher in fact has the duty, in the most profound sense, to preach with his own life."
In regard to brevity, the priest explained that it is a question of avoiding both "non-existent homilies" as well as "endless homilies."
"St. Francis," Father ViganĂ² recalled "exhorted his friars to use pondered and chaste words in their preaching, for the usefulness and edification of the people, proclaiming to the faithful the vices and virtues, the punishment and glory, with a brief speech, because on earth the Lord spoke brief words."

Tip to Joe Waters at Intentional Disciples

Monday, August 25, 2008

Praying for Priests

The article from the National Catholic Register is online:

The newest effort is the St. Michael Prayer Warriors in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. According to archdiocesan vocation director Father Kyle Schnippel, whose office is initiating this apostolate, it will be launched in September at its Call of the King Conference. But many individuals have already signed on.
The apostolate asks laity to pray at least one hour a month before the Blessed Sacrament for their archbishop and priests and for an increase in vocations to priesthood and religious life. Father Schnippel explained that while originally envisioned to be hours of Eucharistic adoration, St. Michael Prayer Warriors is flexible. Any group in a parish can pray together, and “it’s designed so it can be very easily used in families as well,” he stressed.
Members can get direction and prayer suggestions from the apostolate’s electronic newsletter, such as invoking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Priests. The vocation office offers Holy Hour programs with Scripture readings and Rosary meditations connected to vocations, adaptable for praying before the Eucharist or in the family setting.

By the way, I'm no longer asking if you've signed up for the conference yet, now I just expect you to attend! September 21!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A great Sunday afternoon

This afternoon, I was honored to be asked to MC the Mass for the 60th anniversary of Fr. Joe Bruemmer's ordination. I've gotten to know Father Bruemmer over the last few years with my involvement at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center, where he serves as President of the Board (your humble scribe serves as Vice President.)

I was something to see the 20 or so priests who had gathered together to celebrate this anniversary, and to look at the experience that they had together in the priesthood. As Fr. Leroy Smith said: 'they represent hundreds of years of service to God and His Church.' My four short years don't amount to much, yet; but I hope to femain faithful in service as Fr. Bruemmer.

God Bless!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I'm glad you all had fun

For those who only read the RSS feeds, check out the recent comment threads on my blog. Yesterday had the dubious distinction of being 'Pick on Father S' day, however, I was foiled in any attempt to defend myself as I couldn't get through on my blackberry (at least that's my excuse.)

For those who participated, I'm glad you enjoyed your day at my expense. Remember, pay backs will be unexpected.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


absolutely fascinating

(Thanks to Uniwatch)

Seminarians Must be Connected to Parish Life

From Catholic News Agency:

The years spent in the seminary prepare future priests in the finer points of philosophy and theology and give them ample time and structure to form their prayer lives.
But when they begin their priestly ministry, they’ll have to take what they’ve learned and apply it to real parishioners in all sorts of real situations, while at the same time maintaining a strong personal commitment to prayer.
Spending time with pastors who can manage both the parish office and the Divine Office — or Liturgy of the Hours — is the best kind of classroom for seminarians, said Fr. Paul Sullivan, assistant director of vocations.


A friend sends along a story that is just too good not to post, names changed to protect the guilty.

St. Cunegunda Parish in Kennebunkport, Alaska used to be an CFG (Congregation of Fun Guys) mission. It was staffed by CFG priests for a number of decades until the last pastor - Fr. X - a good, holy priest who was a diocesan priest. But, as we know, even good, holy priests have their 'opportunity areas.'

However, Fr. M, an elderly, CFG priest was still in residence and had a stroke. He couldn't take care of himself but didn't want to leave. So a woman from the parish who, along with her husband, had become friends with Fr. X, and took care of him for a number of weeks at the rectory. You know - feeding him, washing him, dressing him - etc.

Well, she was there doing this Christian work and had parked her car in the carport - the normal spot of Fr. X. Fr. X came home and blew the horn. She came out of the the house, not pleased and moved the car. But, she went to him and said, 'You know how you say the truth is the truth is the truth? Well, the truth is that you could have walked 10 feet and told me you were back and I could have moved my car. The truth is that was exceedingly rude!'

Fr. X said 'I've never had a woman speak to me that way in my entire life.'

She replied - 'The truth is you could never be married because if you were my husband, I would have had my foot so far up your ass that you couldn't breath.'

I believe this is called Lay Ministry to our priests!!

What do you all think?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Another St. Blog's Parishioner!

Go over and say 'Hi' and encourage a real post or two (a day!)


This week's National Catholic Register is the apparently the annual vocation issue. Your humble scribe in these parts was interviewed for a story in this issue. Now, if only I could get my hands on a copy.......

(I foolishly let my subscription run out, :bangingheadagainstdoorpost: )

Women's Discernment Retreat

with the Sisters of St. Joseph the Worker in Walton Kentucky on September 12-14. A great group of women who are very committed to serving Christ in the elderly, among their other ministries. Please pray for those attending!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm tempted, I really am

But I don't think I would have the guts, even if asked nicely.

well, except for if Adoro asks me to do her wedding....

I'm done

NFL allegiance up for grabs.

I don't know what took me so long.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Do as Father Says!

Go here:

Vote as is obvious!

Bask in the Silence

Sorry for the silence here on the blog the last few days. I'm working on some rather mundane things here in the office and haven't had any really inspiring moments to blog about. (no real surprise, there, eh?) I'm also working on some longer articles that are going to take some extra brain power, so I don't have a whole lot to spare at this moment here.

Don't Blame me!

for the embarrassingly bad loss by the Bengals to the Lions! All I did was say Mass for the Lions, but there were only a handful there, and only one player. I take no responsibility!

(But I did get a set of tickets to the game [I think my room at the Cathedral was closer to the field than the seats I had], nearly impossible to find someone to go with, tho!)

At least the Reds pulled out a win, and high school football is starting up!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Welcome, and some updates!

First off, to those visiting from New Advent, welcome! Make yourselves at home and look around. For the nickel tour, see the Top Ten Posts that I put together some time ago.

For my regular readers, there are a few new additions to the family.

Last week, Rob, who used to work with me in the Vocation Office, joyfully announced the birth of their second boy: Stephen Aquinas!

Last night, my twin brother joyfully announced the arrival of their second daughter: Lucy Ann!

Both have been gifted with wonderful names and wonderful parents.

Other than that, have you signed up yet? (Even you, Kat!)

Yikes! Nearly forgot a new short video on women's religious, highlighted by Adoro! (These are good sisters, too!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Archbishop Chaput and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Denver's Archbishop Chaput continues to make waves. Recently, he was invited to give a welcoming address to the annual gathering of the Leadership Council of Women's Religious, who held their meeting in Denver. I think they got more than the bargained for.

Life Site News reports on it here.

The text of his welcoming address is here.

The theme of this meeting is “On This Holy Mountain.” As I was thinking about that theme, my mind turned to the Transfiguration. The Transfiguration showed the Apostles and us that Jesus is not merely a great teacher or wise thinker or brave leader. He is our Lord and God. So Christian discipleship and consecrated life demand more than a polite relationship with Jesus and His Church. Christ does ask for our approval or agreement. He doesn’t need either. Instead, He asks us to follow him – radically, with all we have, and without exceptions or reservations. What he deserves is our love – a love that is expressed in our worship, in our service to others and in our obedience to the Church.

From Clergy Communications

of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati:

Responding to a request from the faithful in the Archdiocese, the Vocation Office joyfully announces the formation of the St. Michael Prayer Warriors. Members of this apostolate agree to pray for at least an hour a month for their parish priests, for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and for vocations to the priesthood. The movement is directed by a monthly newsletter, which is available at Information explaining the program in more detail, as well as outlines for how to use the prayer in the parish
and in the home is also included on the page.

In order to introduce the St. Michael Prayer Warriors movement to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the Vocation Office is hosting the inaugural “Call of the King Conference” on Sunday, September 21, 2008, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., at the Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center in Norwood. Fr. Anthony Brausch of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary will be speaking on personal holiness as an avenue of renewal in the Church. Please publicize this event in your parish, and invite the lay leadership to attend this event with you as well. Please see the bulletin announcement on the BULLETIN ANNOUNCEMENT SHEET with this edition of Clergy Communications.

ST. MICHAEL PRAYER WARRIORS: Looking for something proactive that you can do to support the priesthood and vocations? The Vocation Office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is hosting the inaugural Call of the King Conference on September 21, 2008, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center, 5440 Moeller Ave in Norwood, Ohio. The conference introduces the St. Michael Prayer Warriors movement, and features Fr. Anthony Brausch, faculty member at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, speaking on personal holiness as an avenue of renewal in the Church. To register, or for more information, call the Vocation Office at 513.421.3131 or visit

By the way, have you registered yet?

My First Parish Home

There must be something in the water there, as the fifth man in the last 20 years is entering the seminary this fall. (Of the previous four, two are ordained and two did not complete formation, but still tried.)

The bell tower was demolished and a steel tripod design erected on the south side of the Church (left edge of this picture.) In the article, a statue of Mary is mentioned, and Our Lady of Fatima continues to adorn the center of the Facade. Oh, and the school building to the left, which you can just glimpse, was demolished in the mid 1980's and replaced with a parking lot. This was one of those 'public schools' which was run by the sisters back in the day. Mom and dad both attended and were taught by the Sisters of the Precious Blood. Dad still has scars.

Monday, August 11, 2008

11 Clothed in the Habit

of the Dominicans here in Cincinnati.

In my work, I've gotten to know two of the men (Brothers Boniface and Joseph), who both hail from the Queen City. While it would have been great to see them with the Archdiocese, I can tell that both have that Dominican Spirit, and should do well with the Order of Preachers.

Many blessings upon all the new novices. (and remember, if it doesn't work out....)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Boy Scouts, Retreated

Back from the Boy Scout retreat. Happy to say all went much better than what I prepared, thanks to all the prayers. I certainly appreciate it and hopefully it makes a real difference in the lives of the young men who attending (about 95 in number).

Friday, August 8, 2008

Prayer Request

If have any extra prayers to throw my way this weekend, please do so! I am leading a retreat for boy scouts, and am terribly nervous about it for some reason. The material just seemed very difficult to pull together this week, which doesn't help, either.

As such, I'll be away most of the weekend, so try not to make a mess of things.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Pictured above is Mt. Tabor, upon which is the Church of the Transfiguration, commemorating the spot of today's feast. From the top of the Mount, you can see nearly all throughout the Galilee valley, the Sea of Galilee, and beyond. It is quite the impressive view.
Better yet, though, is the road to get up to the Church: nearly 20 switchbacks! (I had a postcard somewhere, but in my many moves, alas!) To get to the Church, there is a fleet of stretched Mercedes Benz taxis, which look like they date from about 1964, and the guys who storm the mountain have been driving for as long as well! The Kamikazi trip up is rewarded with the peace of the view.
Me? I was thinking of staging a hill climb the whole way up!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

White Book

Rocco has broken the silence of his vacation to highlight readers to the USCCB's posting of the so called 'White Book' Hmmm.... homework.

How to be a good dad

From New Advent, comes a link to The Art of Manliness on 18 steps to be a good Father. While this is specifically towards actual, physcial dads, I think it applies to a good priest, too; for to be a good spiritual dad, you must first want to be a good physical dad:

Cherish your time with your children
It gets easier
Don't look at anything as 'mom' duties - share responsibilities
Love conquers all
Kids like making decisions
A little patience goes a long way.
Sense of humor required.
Read to the, often
Don't be the absent dad
Let them play
Spark their imagination
Limit TV and video games
Learn the 'Firm No'
Model good behavior
Treat their mother with respect, always.
Let them be themselves
Teach them independence
Stand together with mom.

Now, discuss how these apply to the priesthood!

Adoro highlighted a link to RobK, who adds:

I think if I were making a list it would have several similarities, but perhaps a bit different in some important ways; especially when it comes to teaching (via word and deed) my children about Christ, his Church, prayer and sacrifice. I would also want to teach them about responsibility and loving their neighbor and seeing Christ in those around them. There is also no mention of teaching (and living) a sense of justice or compassion or courage. Those would rank pretty high on my list as crucial to fatherhood.
I guess what I am saying is that the clearly secular list fine as an addendum, but it misses the entire point of life. The point is to know God, to love Him, and to serve Him in this life and be with him forever in the next. Everything we do as fathers should be directed toward that goal - for us, for our spouses, for our children, and for the community around us. That whole part seems to be missing.

St. Mary Major

I've posted more extended thoughts on today's Dedication over at Merely Catholic, wanted to share this here:

Two personal stories: When I visited Rome in February with my parents, we were staying in a small B&B near this Basilica. After the long plane flight and cab ride into the city, we needed to stretch the legs and decided to take the quick jaunt over to the basilica. As mom, especially, walked in, her mouth was agape: “This place is HUGE!” “Umm,” I replied, “this is the small one (of the four).” She didn’t really believe me until we visited St. Peter’s two days later, then even dad was agape at the size.
A few days later, we had the privelige of celebrating Mass together in St. Mary Major, in one of the crypt chapels in the Pauline Chapel. It was quite the experience, for me and mom and dad. This was also the Church where the sacristan gave me the roughest time about celebrating Mass. Go in to St. Peter’s, no problem; St. John Lateran, no big deal; here: “You are priest?” ‘Yes’ “You are good priest?” ‘I try.’ “You pray hard?” ‘again, I try’ He smiled, and said “Yes, Father, you say Mass here.”
For the pilgrim to Rome, a stop at Mary Major is a must.

Ignite Your Torch 2008

A Catholic Retreat in Lousiville? Yout Betcha! (8:00 mins in length)

Monday, August 4, 2008

August Prayer Warriors Newsletter

The August Newsletter for the St. Michael Prayer Warriors is now posted:

Also, there is more information on the landing page regarding the ‘Call of the King Conference,’ which is being held on September 21, 2008, from 7:00 – 8:30 PM at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center in Norwood, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. There is a registration form at the bottom of the page to use if you wish.

As an additional favor, please see if you can have the following passage included in your parish bulletin from August 24 through September 21:

Looking for something proactive that you can do to support the priesthood and vocations? The Vocation Office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is hosting the inaugural Call of the King Conference on September 21, 2008, from 7:00 to 8:30 PM at the Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center, 5440 Moeller Ave in Norwood, Ohio. The conference introduces the St. Michael Prayer Warriors apostolate, and features Fr. Anthony Brausch, faculty member at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, speaking on personal holiness as an avenue of renewal in the Church. To register, of for more information, call the Vocation Office at 513-421-3131 or visit

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Living the Faith (Sunday Homily)

“What will separate us from the love of Christ?”
With these words, we are brought back to the First Century of Christianity. St. Paul is writing to the nascent community in Rome, a community that is struggling to grow, a community that will shortly see most of its leadership eliminated through the crown of martyrdom. Yet, this is not the source of dismay and despair for the new Church in Rome, rather it is a source of encouragement and power: we have been found worthy to suffer for the sake of Christ! They are able to strip away everything else, yet the Imperial Roman government will never be able to break their relationship with Christ; and in fact, by the persecutions, they only serve to strengthen that relationship!
Yet, where are we today? In many ways, we find ourselves in a very similar situation to the early Roman Church: the culture is hedonistic and hostile to the faith; committed Catholic Christians are being silenced and persecuted for practicing their faith (see the stealing and destruction of the ‘stop planned parenthood’ signs that is happening on the West Side of Cincinnati.) Yet in all of this, it is still very easy to slide along as a Catholic, come to Mass on Sundays, yet not stand up in any bold and dramatic way for what the Church teaches and believes.
Part of the issue that St. Paul is addressing here, and the issue truly is timeless, is the question of how we see our identity in the Church and in the world, because these two dimensions have always been in tension with one another. Obviously, I want to focus on our membership in the Church. I see two fundamental approaches that we can have: Membership in a club or a living member of the Body of Christ.
First, membership in a club approach: This approach is one where we see our status in the Church as something for which I signed up; I pay my dues with my Sunday offering, I support ‘the club’ with my volunteer opportunities, and I may occasionally venture out to another branch if it is more convenient, but if I can’t work Mass in this Sunday, well, it’s no big deal. I mean, really, is God upset if I miss once in a while? To me, this approach leaves something to be desired, as notice this is all something that ‘I’ choose to do, it follows the ego-centrism that is bred in our culture.
The Second option, however, turns this approach around. To be a living member of the Body of Christ instills the obligations found within Catholicism on the very heart and soul of the believer, and he or she becomes a joy filled and exuberant messenger for Christ. Because the believer has been chosen and selected by Christ, all of these things flow naturally in gratitude for the gifts that have been received from Christ. In this approach, we want to go to Mass, we want to give to the parish, we want to share our faith with the world because we have been changed by our encounter with Christ; and I want others to know that they, too, can be changed by this same encounter!
To see yourself as a ‘living member of the Body of Christ,’ down to the very core of your being, guides everything that I say and do in this world; and nothing, neither anguish, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, nor sword could ever take this most precious gift away from me.
As we do this, the parish becomes alive, even more so than it already is. You become more effective and transparent witnesses of Christ out in the world. You become a ‘little evangelist’ just by your presence and joy at coming to know Christ; and it effects and transforms all those around you.
Be convicted in Christ, be a witness for Him. Sure, there will be persecutions and misunderstandings and trials, but nothing in this world will ever be able to separate you from Christ, and, as St. Paul says, I am more than able to conquer anything in my path because of the love of Christ within me.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I laughed, I cried

I nearly got kicked out of Longhorn Steakhouse!

Need a laugh, (especially for bloggers) read this post from the very funny fellas at CMR. After all, are you ready for the End of the World?

Six Quirks

Sara tagged me for a meme (I'm still not sure how to say 'meme,' but that's neither here nor there.)

1) Link the person(s) who tagged you. (see above)
2) Mention the rules on your blog. (see current list)
3) Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours. (see below)
4) Tag 6 fellow bloggers by linking them. (see their sites)
5) Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged. (such work)

Ok, six unspectacular quirks of mine:

1) I'm a side sleeper, literally can't fall to sleep otherwise.

2) Never been to Mexico or Latin American (even though I studied Spanish in seminary.)

3) I have a 'black thumb,' the anti-charism of a green thumb.

4) Unorganization is the name of my game

5) I secretly hate writing (proving it is not a charism), but continue to do so anyways.

6) I let my Autoweek subscription subside over a year ago. I still occasionally shed a tear.

I tag whoever feels like responding, cause I'm too lazy to go over and tag people's blogs. (Sorry, Sara.) :(

Friday, August 1, 2008

Sanctus Bells

In my first post regarding 'Exotic Cleveland', I mentioned that Fr. V. has re-introduced 'Sanctus Bells' during the Eucharistic Prayer, you know the little set of three or four bells that are rung by the servers during the Epiclesis (the calling down of the Spirit) and during the Elevation of the Sacred Species.

In the Comments of that post, the every present anonymous mentioned: "It must be hard to pray with those bells."

This being the interweb and all, it is hard to tell if this little comment was tongue in cheek, or a snide swipe at my fellow priest.

While he can explain it best, part of the discussion over the weekend centered around the use of these bells. His point, we do not celebrate anything important in this culture with silence. Go to the Red's Game (I know, pointless without Griff), if Dunner hits a homerun: loud noise, fireworks, cheering, rock music. Go to a Bengals game (again, why?), a touchdown brings celebration.

Certainly, those types of celebration are inappropriate during the greater Celebration of the Mass, where we welcome the Lord of the Universe truly into our midst. (yes, present in presider, community and Word, but now in a presence that is enduring: when everyone else leaves, HE's still there!) The ringing of the Bells gives the faithful an assistence in the assent to the recognition of Christ's true presence. Therefore, I see them as a value, and wish that we could use them at the Cathedral, but it hasn't happened yet. (They are waiting on my shelf, ready to be called on, though!)

So, my dear Anonymous, please feel free to come back and comment, sign your name if you wish, it is not that I expect you to agree, but it is that the ringing of three or four little bells help us to experience the Catholic Liturgy in all of it's finest, for Liturgy is not an act solely of the mind, but also of body. Hence, we use candles, incense, processions, vestments, and yes, even bells.

St. Peter in Chains