In his zeal to serve God, Leonardo Defilippis set out, and performed The Gift of Peace in more than a hundred churches, where audiences were struck by the generous sacrifice of this talented young man, and most especially, by the powerful impact of his production. No expense was spared in the production, which included costumes, lighting, an original musical soundtrack, and this dedication to quality has continued. Now, more than thirty years later, Saint Luke Productions, run by Leonardo and his wife Patti, has evolved into a professional non-profit company whose productions have toured the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and whose televised productions on Maximilian Kolbe, Saint Francis, John of the Cross and the Gospel of Luke have been broadcast internationally, and received numerous awards.
Saint Luke Productions' feature film Thérèse, the story of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, generated tremendous grassroots and film industry support and 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 conversions and vocations.
"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."