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

Why you should ask God…

I’ve often heard people say that they don’t want to trouble God with their petty needs and concerns. After all, he has more important things to attend to, like running the universe. Yet the New Testament makes God out to be a glutton for punishment. Not only does Jesus often urge us to ask for what we need, (“Ask and […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Distraction of Busyness

I once got a harsh letter from a Baptist lady protesting that she could not find the word “Catholic” anywhere in the Bible. True, the earliest occurrence of the term is in a letter of St. Ignatius of Antioch, written twenty years after the last book of the New Testament.  But the idea that the Church is “catholic” pops up everywhere […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Good Samaritan

To this day, the road from Jericho to Jerusalem is long, winding, and desolate. The two travelers could have been heading back home after weeks on temple duty.  Or they could have been on their way to the Temple for their shift (Luke 1:8).  In either case, the priest and the Levite were in a hurry to get where they […]

"Raising of Jairus' Daughter" (detail) by Ilya Repin"Raising of Jairus' Daughter" (detail) by Ilya Repin

Are We too Enlightened to Believe?

In the days when states were still “the colonies” and men wore powdered wigs, a new way of thinking captured the intelligentsia of the western world. One might have believed: “The miracle stories in the Bible and the lives of the saints may be quaint, entertaining, and even have symbolic meaning.  But certainly we should not take them literally!  Oh, […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Under the Master’s Protection

To some, being Italian-American means overindulging in pasta and joking about tough guys.  But being Italian means being heir to a rich tradition stretching back before the Caesars.  Included are philosophers like Seneca, poets like Dante, artists such as Michelangelo, and saints like Francis of Assisi. To some, being Catholic means giving up chocolate for Lent.  But those who explore […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Flesh is not the Body for St. Paul

Spirituality is really about the soul and the things of the soul.  The body and its needs do not matter.  In fact, the body is the soul’s prison.  Salvation is really the liberation of the soul from the dead weight of the body.  So in this life, physical desires are to be resisted, even extinguished, if possible.  That’s what Catholic […]

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Celebrating Our Father

During the month of June, the United States and fifty-five other countries around the world honor the roles fathers play in the family and the community.  This modern secular holiday invites us to ask a very important question—what does it mean to call God “Father?” Most of the great religions of the world believe in one God and teach the essence of the […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Secret Messiah

Jesus asks a simple question, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” (Luke 9:18). All volunteer an answer, because describing other people’s opinions requires no personal commitment whatsoever.   But then Jesus asks them a tougher question: “Who do YOU say that I am?”  Answering this one entails sticking your neck out a bit. The impetuous Peter blurts out […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Paul, the Pharisee, and the Alabaster Jar

Protestants say we’re justified by faith.  Some Catholics say we’re saved by good works. But what does the Bible say? The Bible—it’s neither.    And it’s both.   At the very same time. First, let’s define our terms.   When St. Paul says “works” don’t justify us (Gal. 2:16-22), he is really referring to two things.  First of all, he […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Eucharistic Body and Blood of Christ

The Catholic Church teaches that in the Eucharist, the communion wafer and the altar wine are transformed and really become the body and blood of Jesus Christ.  Have you ever met anyone who has found this Catholic doctrine to be a bit hard to take? If so, you shouldn’t be surprised.  When Jesus spoke about eating his flesh and drinking […]