Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.

About the Author

Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio writes from Texas. For his resources on parenting and family life or information on his pilgrimages to Rome and the Holy Land, visit www.crossroadsinitiative.com or call 1.800.803.0118.

Raised in Italian/Irish neighborhood in Providence, RI, Marcellino D’Ambrosio never thought about being anything else but Catholic. But like other Catholic teens, his faith was the last place he looked for fulfillment. Following in the footsteps of his parents, both professional performers in their single years, Marcellino set his sights on stardom, playing bass guitar in several popular rock bands by the time he was 16. At that time he encountered a group of Catholics whose Christian life was an exciting adventure, an adventure worth living for. So he laid his bass guitar aside and embarked on a road that led to a Ph.D. in historical theology from the Catholic University of America. His doctoral dissertation, written under the direction of the renowned Jesuit theologian, Avery Cardinal Dulles, focused on one of the theological lights of the Second Vatican Council, Henri Cardinal de Lubac, and his recovery of biblical interpretation of the early Church fathers.

His writing has been published in the international journal Communio, Abingdon’s Dictionary of Biblical Interpretation, the Tablet, Catholic Digest, Our Sunday Visitor, and Catholic News Service’s syndicated column "Faith Alive." His popular book, Exploring the Catholic Church and video course by the same name (known as Touching Jesus through the Church in the USA) have been used in hundreds of parishes all throughout the English speaking world. The Guide to the Passion: 100 Questions about the Passion of the Christ, of which he is co-author and co-editor, may prove to be the fastest-selling Catholic book of all time with over a million copies sold in less than three months.

Dr. D’Ambrosio, the father of five and a business owner, brings to his teaching a practical, down-to-earth perspective that makes his words easy to understand and put into practice. Audio and video recordings of his popular teaching are internationally distributed. He often appears on the international Eternal Word Television Network is regularly heard on the nationally syndicated radio show "Catholic Answers Live." Dr. D'Ambrosio has been a guest on Geraldo Rivera, At Large on FoxNews Channel, the Bill O'Reilly radio show and Radio America's news program Dateline: Washington.

In 2001 Dr. D’Ambrosio left his position at the University of Dallas to develop the work of Crossroads Productions, the apostolate of Catholic renewal and evangelization that he co-founded twenty years ago, and to more directly oversee the growth of Wellness Opportunities Group a company dedicated to helping people improve the quality of their lives physically, mentally, and financially. He, his wife Susan, and their five children, reside just outside of San Antonio, TX.

Author Archive Page
Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

It is a High Adventure that Leads to Glory

“Being a Christian is not about getting to heaven by the skin of your teeth after a life of cautious mediocrity.  It’s about high adventure that leads to glory, but only through perilous battles.” Peter.  Paul.  Isaiah.  Frodo Baggins.  They have more in common than meets the eye. Of course there are differences, too.  Peter is a small business man, […]






Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Do you shoot the messenger?

“In polite conversation, never bring up politics or religion.”  That’s the advice I was given as a child.  And it’s good advice, too, if your aim is to be well-liked.  Politics and religion are risky because they involve deeply held convictions, and if you happen to tread on the convictions of others, you get the same reaction that a dentist […]






Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ

There is a myth that we must lay to rest, once and for all—Protestants are all about the Bible, while Catholics are all about the Sacraments.  While I can’t speak for my Protestant brethren, I can say this with certainty—the Catholic Church has never tolerated any such “either/or.”  Both Scripture and Sacraments are precious gifts from the Lord, gifts we […]






Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Cana Connection

In the past two weeks, the Church has celebrated the Epiphany and the Lord’s baptism. This coming Sunday we remember the Wedding Feast at Cana. What’s the connection between the Jordan’s water, Cana’s wine, and the Magi’s gifts? Actually, the link is not hard to see. The Magi’s homage shows divinity of this child-king who is to die for his […]






Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Baptism of the Lord

At first glance, the scene makes little sense.  John’s strident call to repentance provokes an overwhelming response.  People of all shapes and sizes flock to him in the wilderness.  They are baptized in the Jordan as a sign of repentance and cleansing. Suddenly, out of the crowd steps John’s cousin, Jesus.  Wait a minute.  What’s Jesus, the sinless one, doing […]






Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

A Fleeting Glimpse of the King

Up until now, all has been quite humble. A donkey-ride to a dusty town south of Jerusalem. Hotel rooms all booked up. Giving birth in a stable and laying the baby in an animal’s feed trough instead of a cozy cradle. Into this scene of obscure poverty suddenly bursts an exotic entourage from a far-off land. Dignitaries in dress uniform […]






"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Balestra"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Balestra

Discover the Deeper Meaning of Christmas

In the days of Caesar Augustus, an era of peace was established in the Mediterranean world after centuries of strife.  But this peace was forged by the proud ambition of emperors and the edge of their armies’ swords. Upon this stage appears a baby acclaimed as king by eastern dignitaries.  Neither Caesar nor Herod will brook any rivals.  So brutal […]






Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Feast of the Holy Family

Every year right after Christmas, we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family.  There is an important reason for this.  It’s easy to think the Incarnation means God took on a human body, that he appeared in human flesh. But there is much more to it than that.  In Jesus, God unites himself to an entire human nature.  He fully […]






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How We Keep Christ in Christmas

“Actions speak louder than words.”  “One picture is worth a thousand words.”  “Talk is cheap.”  We have lots of different sayings that generally express the same thing–words alone are inadequate to express lots of things, especially personal messages like “I love you.” So human beings in every culture have developed rituals to express the value they place on people and […]






Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Mary — The First Believer

The Beatitudes rank high on the list of all-time favorite Bible passages.  But what is “beatitude,” anyway?   In the bible, a “blessed” person is someone who has received gifts of the greatest value, gifts that lead to true fulfillment and lasting happiness. If I were to ask you to name the first beatitude, you’d probably say “blessed be the […]