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

Where do you stand?

Jesus’ call to enter through the narrow door seems to conflict with the idea that God wants all to be saved, that the universal, Catholic Church means “here comes everybody.” But a deeper look resolves the inconsistency. Start small, finish big.  That seems to be God’s motto.  He begins salvation history with two people from what is now Iraq.  When […]

"The Virgin at Prayer" (detail) by Sassoferrato"The Virgin at Prayer" (detail) by Sassoferrato

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I once asked a college theology class if anyone could explain the doctrine of the Assumption.  A student replied, “yeah, that’s the teaching whereby the Catholic Church ‘assumes’ that Mary is in heaven.” There’s a bit more to it than that.  The Church does not just “assume” that any canonized saint in is in heaven.  Rather, it authoritatively declares that […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Not Peace, but the Sword

One of the themes of Pope Francis at World Youth Day 2013 was to “shake things up.” This is quite different from the advice I was given as a child: “In polite conversation, never bring up politics or religion.”  This is quite good advice, if your aim is to be well-liked.  Politics and religion are risky because they involve deeply […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

What is Faith and Belief?

I recently visited Italy and was reminded of the religious contrast between America and Europe.  In Europe, large numbers of people consider themselves agnostics or even atheists. In America, something like ninety-five percent of the population “believes in God.”  Nearly as high a percentage also believes that there is a life after death and that people are rewarded or punished by […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Root of All Evil?

In his space trilogy, C.S. Lewis called him “the Bent one.”  That is really an apt name for the one the Bible is calls “Satan” or “the Accuser.”  The perverse choice he made to serve himself rather than his Creator warped his nature, and ever since his delight has been twisting anything he can get his hands on. Take sexual […]

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 […]