For more than three decades, Saint Luke Productions has created professional Catholic theater, DVDs, and feature film dramas. More than one million people throughout the English-speaking world have seen and been inspired by our work. This unique ministry and production company began in 1980. Leonardo Defilippis, a Shakespearean actor, had the dream of presenting the Gospel of Luke in a new dramatic form. He envisioned a one-man production that would tour churches in the Northwest US for a season. So he wrote to now -Saint Teresa of Calcutta, asking her for guidance in his newfound apostolate. Through a personal, written correspondence to Leonardo, Mother Teresa inspired him with her encouragement. Her mandate to “Do something beautiful for God” became the pivotal support for Saint Luke Productions. Leonardo’s first show’s title, The Gift of Peace: The First Six Chapters of Saint Luke’s Gospel, was inspired by Mother Teresa’s Nobel Peace Prize speech. “Let us thank God for this gift of peace that reminds us that we have been created to live that peace, and that Jesus became man to bring that good news to the poor,” she stated.
Transforming the Culture through Powerful Live Catholic Theater
In his zeal to serve God, Defilippis set out and performed The Gift of Peace in more than a hundred churches. Audiences were struck by the generous sacrifice of this talented young man and, most especially, by the powerful impact of his work. No expense was spared in the production. It included costumes, lighting, and an original musical score. This dedication to quality continues today. More than thirty years later, Saint Luke Productions, run by Leonardo and his wife Patti Defilippis, has evolved into a professional non-profit company. Funded primarily by generous donations, our ten productions have toured the US, Canada, and Europe. In addition, our televised productions on Maximilian Kolbe, Saint Francis, John of the Cross and the Gospel of Luke have been broadcast internationally, and have received numerous awards.
Our Expansion into Catholic Film and Media
Saint Luke Productions’ feature film, Thérèse, the true story of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, generated tremendous grassroots and film industry support. It played in mainstream movie theaters for an unprecedented 70 weeks. Thérèse was the first major motion picture distributed solely by an independent Catholic film company and funded entirely by donations. In DVD release, the film continues to inspire both conversions and vocations.
A Commitment to the Future of the Church and the Arts
“I first met Leonardo and Patti Defilippis while Archbishop of Portland in Oregon,” said the late Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago. “I was impressed with their vision and their understanding of the importance of a Catholic voice within the entertainment industry. Leonardo and Patti are creating a training ground for young artists and restoring the dignity of the professional arts through live drama, film, and television.”
Saint Luke Productions Today
Live productions and DVD productions also include: Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz, Saint Francis: Troubadour of God’s Peace, John of the Cross, the Gospels of Luke and John, The Confessions of Saint Augustine, The Song of Songs, Thérèse: The Story of a Soul, Faustina: Messenger of Divine Mercy, Vianney, and Vianney Speaks. Currently, we are producing Tolton, the story of the first African-American priest. Contact us to learn more about our current shows and to book a performance in your community.