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.'"

Audrey Ahern


Audrey Ahern is a Texas-based actress now playing the role of St. Thérèse of Lisieux in Saint Luke Productions’ touring one-woman live drama, THÉRÈSE: THE STORY OF A SOUL. She is excited and humbled by the opportunity to bring this wonderful saint to life.

A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Ahern brings several years of acting experience to the part of THÉRÈSE, including live theatre, film, and commercial work. She has a particular affinity for classical theatre and has also recently appeared in two world premieres of new shows written by contemporary playwrights.

Audrey received a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from West Virginia University, where her training allowed her to focus on areas of particular interest, including solo performance. Audrey also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from the University of Dallas and during her undergraduate there, she spent time studying in Rome.

Audrey is passionate about bringing stories to life that create a new awareness of truth and beauty, and ultimately of God. A lifelong Catholic, Audrey chose St. Thérèse as her Confirmation patron, and is thrilled to be able to share St. Thérèse’s message of trust in the love of God. Her hope is that by experiencing THÉRÈSE: THE STORY OF A SOUL, audiences will be inspired to grow in spiritual childhood and in their devotion to Christ.

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."

John Defilippis

Booking Manager

John Defilippis has been apart of Saint Luke Productions his entire life. Growing up around his parents live dramas and films on the lives of the saints and gospels, he has come to love the arts witnessing its powerful role in evangalizing the world. Right after graduating from the University of Dallas with a bachelors degree in Art, John took on booking and sales with Saint Luke Productions. What attracted him to this position was his passion for the arts and belief in their ability in moving hearts and minds to Christ. He hopes to continue with the arts through painting, strengthening the relationship between artists and Catholic Church. For his senior thesis he put on a painting exhibition titled "By His Wounds We are Healed" on the stations of the cross.

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


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."