Giving Up Stealing For Lent (And Other Family Stories)

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Br. Charles Madden OFM, Conv. 112 pages PB

56 years of marriage and 11 children. The Maddens of Baltimore will surprise you, comfort you, make you laugh until you cry, and make you cry until you laugh again! From games of “pitch” to petty thievery, from over-zealous confessions to exacerbating obedience, there is truly never a dull moment!

But these true stories about a real family, as told by the youngest brother, are much more than just a collection of humor. Together, they weave a tapestry about family life—the way it should be lived and enjoyed. The virtues and the vices, the laughter and the frustration, the  happiness and the mourning, the prosperity and the poverty: the family is the first school of love.

Experience this with the Maddens of Baltimore.
Bring them home with you today!

Brother Charles Madden was born in Baltimore, MD in January 1940, the youngest of eleven children.
He is the author of Freemasonry: Mankind’s Hidden Enemy and The Ballad and the Message.

Cover Art by Ted Schluenderfritz.

Giving Up Stealing for Lent!
The Law Books
Penny Dreadfuls
Sunday Shoes
Bargain Shoes
Wayward Feet
Spilt Paint
Twisted Ribbon
Confetti Money
Until the Moon Rises
Educating A Tattletale
The Great Sinner
Uncle Rob
Throwing Out the Old Crockery
Ann to the Rescue
Beating the Cellar Stairs
“Mom, Some People are so Damned Dumb...”
A Fervent Prayer
Apples from a Pear Tree
Manure by the Truckload
Surprise Presents from Grace
Exacerbating Obedience
Sliding Pizza
The Great Footrace
The Water Pistol
Black Eggs, King Syrup, Thrown Beef, and Woodley’s Eggnog
Aunt Florence
“O God, Have Mercy on a Sinful Man!”
Revolving Doors
Horses, Dogs, and the Three Little Pigs
The Birthday Cake
Christmas Memories
Adultery at Age Ten
To Have and To Be
Card Games
Aunt Mike’s Death
“Crazy Old Women”
The Last Gift
Waiting to Go Home
About the Author


Every family has its favorite stories that are told and
retold time and again at family gatherings. With a large family
there is generally an enormous supply of such tales. Certainly
this is true with our family. There were fifteen of us: Pop and
Mom, eleven children (three girls, eight boys), plus Mom’s oldest
brother and sister, Uncle Jim and Aunt Mike (her real name was
Mary), both of whom had gone blind by the early 1930’s. Our
parents were married in 1924, and the eleven of us kids were
born between 1925 and 1940, I being the youngest. As of this
writing, all eleven of us children are alive and in good health,
ranging in age from 65 to 80. Why such good fortune? I believe
God was pleased with Pop and Mom and their efforts to raise
us properly.

Being the youngest, many of our family stories occurred
before I was born, or when I was too young to actually remember
them, yet all of them seem so real to me that I feel as if I was
present during all of them. Family stories are that way; they
become part of you. Most of us grew up in St. Paul’s parish and

the area around Caroline and Lanvale Streets in Baltimore; for
me it was mostly St. Dominic’s parish in Northeast Baltimore.
I have not really tried to put these stories in any
chronology, though some of them are related to each other.
When people sit around telling stories, something in one story
triggers the memory of another one. And that’s how the order
of these stories came about when I wrote them down. They are
my favorite ones, and I have written them as best as I can recall,
either from my own memory or from the way others in the
family have told them. I chose the title of this book from the
first story; as you will see from first to last, these stories come a
full circle. I hope these stories trigger many happy memories
from your own family.

Br. Charles Madden

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