Leonardo Defilippis

Founder and President

After years as a Shakespearean actor, Leonardo Defilippis embarked on a spiritual journey that led him to found Saint Luke Productions in 1980. His work as an actor, producer, and film director has been seen by millions throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. The venues span a wide and diverse spectrum to include churches, major theaters, civic centers, penitentiaries, schools, cloistered convents, and World Youth Day in Denver and Rome. His work has inspired vocations to the religious life, and have won numerous awards over the decades. Audiences have included children, dignitaries, church hierarchy, prisoners, students, and concentration camp survivors -  just to name a few. Leonardo’s life has been filled with risks taken for the mission of spreading the Gospel through the dramatic arts. The biggest risk was the directing, production and distribution of the feature film THÉRÈSE, the first motion picture distributed solely by an independent Catholic film company.
More recently, Leonardo completed Vianney Speaks, a television program which was produced due to the huge success of Vianney, the live theatrical production which began touring the U.S. as a dramatic contribution for the Year of the Priesthood. Leonardo can be heard daily on Catholic radio networks nationwide on Benedictus Moments, a radio and web series based on the profound meditations of Pope Benedict XVI. His most recent productions now touring include the ever-popular The Passion According to Saint Luke and Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz, which are inspiring audiences across the nation.
On August 6, 1983, the Feast of the Transfiguration, Leonardo married his beloved wife Patti. They have been blessed with seven children and reside in Washington state.
“When I step out in faith to serve God by doing the impossible, I am constantly astonished at the miracles God works through my inadequate abilities. That has been the story of my life, and I pray that God will continue to find me always willing to do His Will.”

Patti Defilippis

Director and Screenwriter

Patti Defilippis is the director of all the Saint Luke Productions live dramas, and the screenwriter for the feature film THÉRÈSE. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater, she began her career at the Alley Theater in Houston, Texas, as an apprentice member of the acting company, acted in the Fort Worth Shakespeare Festival, as well as various dinner theaters, and performed with the Oregon Shakespearean Festival in Ashland, Oregon, where she and Leonardo Defilippis met. While in Ashland, she experienced a religious conversion to Catholicism which changed the direction of her theatrical career, and led to a 26-year adventure of directing, writing and performing in the spiritual films and plays of the production company that she created with her husband, Leonardo, in 1980. Her Family Reflections is a popular column in the Saint Luke newsletter, and she has spent much of her time, in addition to raising and home schooling seven children, in the fundraising aspect of the ministry, writing appeals and grants. Although she was trained as an actress, she finds the behind-the-scenes elements of theater and film more rewarding, and she enjoys collaborating in, refining and editing Leonardo’s broad and ambitious vision for a new Catholic presence in the media.

Maria Vargo


Maria Vargo, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, is a Hollywood-based actress now starring in the lead role of Saint Luke Productions' latest touring live drama, Faustina: Messenger of Divine Mercy.

Vargo brings a wealth of experience in theater and film to the role of Faustina. Her résumé includes numerous roles in film, television, and theater, in addition to work as an artistic director and producer for a faith-based theater in Los Angeles. She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild- American Federation of Television & Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), Actors' Equity, and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

Aside from her work on stage and screen, Maria Vargo's many talents encompass a far-reaching spectrum from singer, songwriter to voice teacher for actors. Her passion for music led to producing a Christian CD entitled Fire Tries Iron. She shares her talents with the Catholic community by cantoring at Mass. In her capacity as a public speaker on sexual education and abstinence, she served in 2011 as a missionary to Uganda.

Because of her own deep spiritual conversion several years ago, Maria is grateful for the opportunity to portray St. Maria Faustina Kowalska. She looks forward to sharing the message of God's endless mercy with the world, since she has experienced His mercy in her own life.

"I want to use my skills, talents, and gifts to bring people closer to God's love and be a vessel for the Holy Spirit to dwell in and shine forth. I most enjoy the closing prayer and theme of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, 'that in difficult times we must not despair, nor become despondent, but submit ourselves to His holy will which is love and mercy itself.'"

David Bentz

Director of Operations

David Bentz grew up in the foothills of the Cascades in Oregon. As a child, his participation in the Catholic band, Jubilee Musicians, was formative for his life-long passion for musicianship, evangelism, technology and high-quality productions. He has over 13 years of experience in professional leadership of Catholic worship and audio services. David especially appreciates his experience serving with REACH Ministries and his time at Franciscan University where he earned his Engineering Sciences degree. He established his career in project management in the Washington, D.C. area doing acoustic research, computer network deployment, production management, and logistical data and analysis. He is grateful to be home again the Northwest where he enjoys visiting with family, jamming with friends and the road trips in between. David and his wife have a devotion to Jesus' Divine Mercy and pray with St. Faustina, "Jesus, I Trust in You."

Dawn Fry

Administrative Assistant

Born and raised in Vancouver, Washington, Dawn Fry has deep Southern family roots. With her husband and family, she spent several years in Western Kentucky running a small farm, the experience of a life-time where her faith flourished and grew. Dawn brings a variety of experience to Saint Luke Productions, including administrative roles at several churches, executive assistant positions at both profit and non-profit companies, and most recently, customer service in banking. She is happy to be back near her family in Washington and is excited to be using her skills and enthusiasm to serve the Lord at Saint Luke Productions. Dawn enjoys spending time outside with family and with her best friend, her dog. She shares a smile with everyone she meets and desires to live by the words of Psalm 118:24: “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Janice Gonzalez

Public and Media Relations Director

Janice Gonzalez is the Director of Media and Public Relations for Saint Luke Productions and their film division, Luke Films. She not only handles the national publicity and interviews, but works to ensure that the apostolate of Saint Luke Productions is better known throughout the secular world too. Janice brings a unique perspective to her job since for several decades, she was fortunate to work as a volunteer from time to time for Leonardo and the company. Throughout the journey, she has had the special grace to witness the impact of this company’s work on so many people, including in her own life. With a longtime background in heading ministries dedicated to defending life and working in media relations, she sees Saint Luke’s apostolate as a natural bridge to continue the critical task of evangelizing the many facets of the current culture. A native of California, she has lived in many areas of the U. S., and most enjoys the faith-filled staff with whom she works, and the variety of people she interacts with in this role. Among the many motivating quotes at her desk, she is reminded daily of the words of St. John Vianney, the beloved Curé of Ars: “You cannot please both God and the world at the same time. They are utterly opposed to each other in their thoughts, their desires, and their actions.”

Jordan Miller

Production Designer

Jordan is a graduate of Central Washington University, with a degree in Graphic Design. Originally from Southern California, he comes to Saint Luke Productions after working the past several years as a print designer, web designer, and videographer in Idaho and the greater Portland region. Jordan has many skills and is very passionate about all of them. Aside from all things digital, in his spare time Jordan enjoys music, painting, astronomy, hiking, mountain biking, snowboarding, and spending time with his dog. The opportunity to work for Saint Luke Productions finds him excited and humbled while very eager to help spread the Word through his faith, skills, and talents. Jordan and his family have lived with the constant reminder to, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not; In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths. -Proverbs 3: 5 & 6

Mary Berger

Live Dramas Coordinator

Originally from Enumclaw, Washington, Mary is a graduate of Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia where she received a degree in Music and a minor in Catholic Studies from TWU’s affiliate, Redeemer Pacific College. After spending several years in Canada working as a musician and teacher, she is excited to be back in Washington and involved in another side of performing arts as Saint Luke Productions’ Event Specialist for live dramas. In her free time, Mary enjoys any time spent at the piano, performing as an accompanist, soloist, chamber musician, wedding pianist, or just practicing and writing. In addition to all things musical, she loves hiking, travelling, outdoor adventures, spending time with family and friends, and Seattle sports. Mary has a passion for ecumenism and evangelization through art, and believes that beauty expressed in art has unique potential to create an encounter with God, as He uses the talents given to every person to glorify him. In the words of St. Catherine of Siena, “If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze.”

Shalea Otto

Stage Manager

From Central Illinois, Shalea is a graduate of Eureka College with a degree in Biology. While pursuing a career in the health field, she experienced a deep calling to evangelize through media. After working with the International Women's Leadership Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii and volunteering for the Catholic News Agency and OneBillionStories.com in Denver, Colorado, Shalea is honored to spread our Lord's Infinite Love through "Faustina: Messenger of Divine Mercy." As Jesus says, "You will understand the love that burns in My Heart for souls when you meditate on my Passion."



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