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 Coan

Rejoice in Hope

Moses’ mission had taken him quite a distance . . . from the splendor of Pharaoh’s palace, to a stroll through the Red Sea, to wrestling with Israel’s stubbornness for forty years in the desert. How sad that he never made it across the Jordan!  But God did give him a moment of consolation.  He brought him up to the […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Fast Comes Before the Feast

Christmas cards speak about it.  Christmas carols sing about it.  Even the angels at Bethlehem proclaimed it.  “Peace on earth.”  “The lion shall lie down with the lamb.” (Is 11).  “Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever” (Ps 72). The coming of the Messiah obviously has something to do with the advent of peace. But […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

The deeper meaning of Christmas lights

As fall moves onward towards winter we have places to go, things to do, people to meet.  Yet as we go about our business, we notice the days are getting shorter.  Sweaters come out of storage, we close the windows, and turn on the heat. Advent is a season where we stop and remember that the light of this world […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Christ the King of the Universe

The Philistines had beaten them, and the Israelites were determined not to let it happen again.  So they demanded from God and from his prophet, Samuel, what all the other nations had—a king to lead them in battle and protect them from their enemies (I Sam 8:19).  So God gave them Saul, who ultimately failed in his task.  Then David […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Apocalypse Now!

Whenever I lead a trip to the Holy Land, the question inevitably comes, “Will we visit Armageddon?”  This refers, of course, to the battlefield surrounding the ancient city of Megiddo where some think the final confrontation will take place before the end of the world (Revelation 16:16).  Catholics and Protestants alike have a fascination with the Scriptural accounts of the […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Will We be Married in the Afterlife?

Given their history, it seems rather strange.  After all, for hundreds of years the Jews lived alongside a race that was totally preoccupied with life after death.  The Egyptians built pyramids that were wonders of the ancient world.  But their sole purpose was to launch their leaders into the next world. Yet the Jews really had no concept of life […]

"The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of the Purgatory" (detail) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

All Souls Day and Prayers for the Dead

I’ll never forget that bleak January day when my father died.  It was very hard to believe in the resurrection as I watched the undertakers carry away his lifeless corpse in a body bag. But imagine this scene.  You are an unborn child who has lived in cozy but cramped quarters with your twin for nine months.  But now you […]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

All Saints Day — A Call to Holiness for All

At age sixteen, I thought that aspiring to holiness was out of the question.  If you really wanted to be holy, I thought, you had to be a priest, nun, or brother.  And you had to spend your days doing “religious stuff” like praying, preaching, teaching catechism, or serving the poor.  But I had developed an interest in the opposite […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

What have you got to lose?

Tax collectors have never been popular.  But in Roman Palestine, they were particularly hated.  It was bad enough that they collaborated with the foreign oppressors.  Its understandable that the Jews felt about the same thing for the Romans as the French did for the occupying Nazis in World War II. But the Roman system of “tax farming” made tax collectors […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

But, St. Peter, I’m a good person!

Each year, at one of our country’s leading Catholic universities, a professor does a survey with his incoming class of students.  He puts to them this question: “If you were to die tonight and appear at the pearly gates, what would be your entry ticket?” Nine out of ten bet their good character and behavior will gain them admission. This […]