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

Protecting Our Addictions

Temperance.  For older American, that word conjures up images of Carrie Nation shattering bottles of gin to usher in Prohibition. But the word temperance does not mean abstinence from alcohol or total abstinence from anything, for that matter.  It means that the desire for pleasures of various sorts is brought into balance with other legitimate needs and obligations.  Also called […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Responsible Generosity

Our society tolerates religion, as long as it keeps to itself.  After all, America is about the separation of Church and state, right?  Education, entertainment, employment, politics are supposed to be “religion-free.”  The removal of the Ten Commandments from an Alabama courthouse several years ago was just one sign of this misguided divorce between faith and life. Like it or […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Prodigal Son and the Golden Calf

Everyone knows the bible stories of the Prodigal Son and the Golden Calf.  But they don’t usually put the two together as this Sunday’s readings do.  So what do the two tales have in common? Answer: they both speak volumes about the nature of sin.  Think about it.  God sees an enslaved people in miserable bondage to the mightiest nation […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

A Gospel to Make You Squirm

When I was a kid, I got the distinct impression there existed a two-track system in Catholicism.  Some really decided to go for it.  They became priests, nuns, and brothers because they “had a vocation.”  They “gave up” lots of things.  Like marriage, family, success in business, and lots of creature-comforts. The rest of us, however, don’t “have a vocation” […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Humility is the Key that Opens Doors

“Nice guys finish last,” says the world.   “The last will be first,” replies Jesus. My guess is that the Lord of creation knows best who really wins in the end.  And he says in this Sunday’s gospel, “whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:11). To understand why the humble get ahead and […]

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 […]