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 for the Year of Faith.
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.”
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.
Director of Operations
From Eastern Washington, Greg comes to Saint Luke Productions with a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Idaho. After working in the forest products industry for a number of years, he experienced a deep calling to serve God through ministry. Greg oversees multiple departments at SLP and considers the company’s mission to be that of transformation - helping all to experience deeper trust and freedom in Christ through the beautiful stories of the scriptures and lives of the saints. He is honored and humbled to serve the Kingdom through SLP, offering his experience in business planning and management, as well as technical and creative problem-solving. In his free time, Greg enjoys music ministry, web design, and especially reading scripture and the teachings of the Church. He believes God’s Word is marvelous indeed and holds within it the ultimate promise and example of love. It is his prayer that we can all take time from our busy days to encounter Christ through the scriptures. “As St. Jerome has said, ‘Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.’ Let us all immerse ourselves in His love!”
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.”
Live Dramas Coordinator
Karissa is a native of Kelso, Washington and a graduate of Washington State University with a degree in Sociology. Along with her husband, she sings and plays the djembe at Mass and many other church events. She also coordinates the Young Adult Ministry at her parish, and enjoys serving her parish communities in any way she can. While most of her time is filled with ministry activities, she values the time she is able to spend with her large and loving family. Her current position as the Live Dramas Coordinator for SLP has provided her with the exciting opportunity to help communities bring Christ and His saints straight to the people, meeting them where they're at. "Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your own weakness." - Blessed Mother Teresa. Live in Him!
Emma Olwell is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, with a degree in Communication Arts- Multimedia. While a native child of southern California, she most recently hails from northwest Arkansas, where her family owns and operates a small fishing resort on the White River. Emma has always found life to be more interesting when seen through a lens, and numbers photography chief among interests that include cooking, crafting, art, and reading. The opportunity to work for Saint Luke Productions finds her very excited and humbled. She's extremely pleased to be able to apply her talents to a cause she believes in so deeply. She views her re-location to Washington state as an adventure, and has enjoyed exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She tries to live her life according to this favorite quote of the Holy Father: "The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness." -Pope Benedict XVI
Jennifer Graves was born and raised in Vancouver, Washington and absolutely loves living in the Pacific Northwest. She is a graduate of Washington State University with a degree in Business Administration focusing in Management and Human Resources. She comes to Saint Luke Productions after working the past several years in ministries serving Rwanda and Haiti. Jen is excited to bring her experience in non-profit accounting to an organization that she feels uniquely evangelizes to all who are open to enriching their faith. Not only has she enjoyed doing mission work with children in Rwanda, she greatly enjoys serving the people of her parish where she is active with her husband in the Knights of Columbus and Ladies Auxiliary, chime choir and young adult programs. She lives her life by the words of St. Clare of Assisi "Love God, serve God; everything is in that."
John Defilippis is currently enjoying the adventure of touring with Leonardo, his father, and he brings to the company his artistic and musical abilities, contributing greatly to the creative team of Saint Luke Productions. He is taking a semester off from his University of Dallas pursuit of a Bachelor’s Degree in Art, in order to serve God through this ministry, and spend time in prayer and discernment. "I am so blessed to have the opportunity to go on tour this fall with my father and Saint Luke Productions. The beauty of the relationship between Saint Maximillian and the people is so profound and moving. His sacrifice is a living example to us all."