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

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. [...]

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

Too Enlightened To Believe?

In the days when states of the United States were still “the colonies” and men wore powdered wigs, a new way of thinking captured the intelligentsia of the western world. “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

Eucharist: 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 [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Here’s Why the Doctrine of the Trinity Matters

Many are ready to give a polite nod of some sort to Jesus of Nazareth. Most honor him as a great moral teacher.  Many even confess him as Savior. But the Incarnation of the Eternal God?  Second person of the Holy Trinity? God can’t be one and three at the same time.  Such a notion is at worst illogical, at [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Difference that the Spirit Makes

As a teenager, I thought the clergy were supposed to do everything.  We laity were just called to pray, pay, and obey.  Oh yes, and keep the commandments, of course. The original 10 seemed overwhelming enough. Then I discovered the Sermon on the Mount and nearly passed out. Perhaps this is why many inactive Catholics are so resentful of their [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

So, what are you waiting for?

The celebration of the Ascension used to leave me a bit flat. It was clear what Good Friday did for me. And Easter Sunday’s benefits were indisputable. But as for the Ascension, what’s in it for me? Christianity is about a kind of love we call agape or charity. It is love that looks away from itself to another and [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Why did Jesus call the Holy Spirit the Paraclete?

He wore steel rimmed glasses and had hair to the middle of his back. The fringe on his buck-skinned jacket bounced as he walked. At least that was the way I was accustomed to seeing Mike as he bopped around town. It was just a few years after Woodstock, and we were all taken with hippie culture. It seemed so [...]

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

One Way Only

“As long as you believe in God and try to be a good person, it doesn’t matter what religion you choose.” “There are different paths up the same mountain, but they all lead to the peak.”  How many times have you heard people speak this way? This is the prevailing wisdom. It’s politically correct. Tolerant. Reasonable. But it’s wrong. Jesus [...]