This post is my contribution to Brandon Vogt’s “Support a Catholic Speaker Month“, which is trying to raise awareness on some of the great speakers who travel North America helping support all the rest of us in ministry, and in building up the Church. If you follow the link, you can read about some of the other great speakers who are out there – some of whom may be speaking at an event near you… I know that Jackie Francois is coming to the Holy Trinity Parish Youth Rally in early February…
In early July, Anaphora had the privilege of providing music at the annual Catholic Family Life Conference at Lac Ste Anne, AB, a conference I once attended as a teen, and over the last few years have served in nearly every capacity possible (youth, children’s, and music ministry, as well as being an occasional speaker for the youth tents.) This year, the keynote speaker was Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio who lives just outside of Dallas, Texas with his wife and five children. He brought with him two of his children, twin sons, Anthony and Marcellino jr, who spent the weekend speaking to the youth.
Marcellino D’Ambrosio was a cradle Catholic, a musician, and performer, who left the Church as a teenager. He was drawn back to Catholicism by an encounter with Catholics whose faith inspired him. He would go on to receive a PHD in historical theology from the Catholic University of America, studying under Cardinal Avery Dulles. His doctoral dissertation focused on Cardinal Henri de Lubac (one of my favorite authors), and his work on the Biblical interpretation of the early church fathers. D’Ambrosio went on to teach at Loyola University and the University of Dallas before leaving teaching to work full-time with the Crossroads Initiative in 2001. Through this ministry, Dr. D’Ambrosio uses TV, radio, and the Web to “proclaim the message without compromise but in language even the young can understand” – in addition to writing and speaking. He’s often a guest on EWTN, offers expert religious or moral commentary for Fox News (Geraldo Rivera at Large) and Bill O’Reilly’s radio show.
Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio’s gift lies in his ability to do take different aspects of Church teaching and explain them in a way that can enrich both those who have studied theology or served in ministry as well as those who may have little to no background in either area. Here’s his presentation on the conversion of St. Augustine, where he does much more than just tell Augustine’s story:
One of the unique aspects of Dr. D’Ambrosio’s apostolate is the fact that he offers and invites people to join him on tours of the Holy Land, where he walks travellers through the Bible by taking them to the places that many of these momentous events take place. His background in historical theology, teaching, and pastoral ministry make Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio an expert guide into both the history of our faith that helps bring new depth to Scripture and the Celebration of the Eucharist. If you don’t have the chance to hear him speak or to travel with him to the Holy Land, you can also visit Dr. D’Ambrosio’s website at http://www.dritaly.com, follow him on Twitter, or like his page on Facebook.