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

Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Terrorism is nothing new.  It’s probably as old as the human race. In fact the cradle of civilization, now Iraq, was the home of the most infamous terrorists of antiquity, the Assyrians.  Their goal was to conquer their neighbors in a way that would minimize  initial resistance and subsequent rebellion.  To do this, they knew fear would be their greatest [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Motivated by Love

I used to think that God’s law was like those dumb rules we had to put up with in grammar school, for example, “Thou shalt not chew gum in class.” They are arbitrary laws that bureaucrats came up with to keep them happy and the rest of us miserable. The goal of students is to break such rules whenever they [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Way of the Cross and the Road to Salvation

Truth in advertising — after all the glowing reports of the benefits of a product, potential side effects need to be mentioned. Informed consent — before surgery, patients have to be told of all the things that could possibly go wrong. That way, they have the chance to opt out before it’s too late. As soon had the truth came out at [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Biblical Roots of the Papacy

“More Catholic than the Pope?” There is nothing more quintessentially Catholic than the Papacy. When we think “Catholic,” we think Rome, the Vatican, the dome of St. Peters. But the roots of the papacy actually go back to Jerusalem and the messiah-kings who ruled there. Like most heads of state, David and his descendants, the anointed kings of Judah, realized [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Great Faith of the Canaanite Woman

The apostles thought she was a nuisance and asked Jesus to get rid of her. Jesus had gone to the region of Tyre and Sidon, modern-day Lebanon, and a local woman approached him for a favor. This was pagan country, home turf of the infamous Jezebel. The inhabitants of these parts were fondly referred to as “dogs” by their Jewish [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Walking in Faith

One of the most famous stories of the New Testament is the one about Jesus walking on the water. If there is any gospel story we never tire of hearing, this is it. The lake is rough. Though several of the apostles spent most of their life in a boat, they’re still worried. But when they see a phantom walking [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Miracle of the Loaves

Only one miracle of Jesus is recorded in all four gospels—the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. I once heard a homilist give what he said was the real meaning of the story: the people in the crowd took out food they were hiding under their cloaks and shared it. Jesus’ preaching inspired the melting of selfishness, and this was [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Does Old versus New Apply in the Kingdom?

“Liberal” and “conservative.” The definitions of these terms are seldom stated. Usually they are just presumed. Often people call “conservative” those who like old-fashioned things and “liberal” those who favor the latest ideas, trends, and values. But for the Christian, the ultimate question is not personal preferences of style, or whether something is old or avant garde. It is rather [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

At one time or another, we’ve all dreamed of a perfect world. Imagine a company where everyone is productive… a government full of honest politicians… a church where all are saints. Dreaming about such things is natural; expecting such things is dangerous. Unrealistic expectations lead to discouragement, despair, even cynicism. That would be bad enough. But the expectation that the [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Double Message of The Sower and the Seed

I’ve always loved gardening. The seeds I’ve planted include carrot, cucumber and, of course, zucchini. In each case, I’ve planted seeds in neat rows, expecting nearly all of them to sprout and yield fruit. But the farmer in Jesus’ parable (Mat 13:1-23) uses the broadcast method. Lots of seed cast everywhere. And predictably, many of these seeds do not produce. [...]