Friday, October 29, 2010

Saint Luke Productions Celebrates 30 Years

VANCOUVER, Wash., Oct. 29 /Christian Newswire/ -- Saint Luke Productions ( and its sister company, Luke Films, are celebrating a major milestone - three decades of evangelizing the North American culture through spiritual and artistic theater and film. Thirty years ago, a young Shakespearean actor who loved the art of theater, decided to step into the genre of religious drama - a subject largely unexplored in our modern age. Founded by actor and film director Leonardo Defilippis, Saint Luke Productions will be commemorating the 30 year mark through the next year. 

The miracle of God's providence began on October 29, 1980, in a theater at the renowned and highly regarded Oregon Shakespeare Festival. That night, a host of professional secular actors and actresses, costumers, technicians, and theater staff came to witness actor Leonardo Defilippis perform The Gospel According to Luke. It was an enormous risk which bore fruit that day. Not only was a new calling born, but so too was a unique art form and an enduring ministry. 

Inspired by his correspondence with the Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and her suggestion to "do something beautiful for God," Defilippis has had the gift of performing live for over a million people, and the dramas and films have been encouraging conversions, offering hope, and inspiring a way to deeply reflect on one's life. Audiences have included a wider variety than most actors could imagine - dignitaries, church hierarchy, prisoners, film actors, students, the dying, and concentration camp survivors, to name a few. 

Defilippis is grateful and humbled to have the spent his life bringing sanctity to the performing arts. "I could never have imagined," says Defilippis, "that this vision of creating dramas and films on the greatest lives of the human race, who have changed the course of history, would continue and flourish in a world where religious art is not appreciated, or in many cases, simply ignored. When I think back on how we started and where we are today, I clearly see that God blesses those who step out in trust and take risks for His sake. This is the miracle of faith and creation itself" says Defilippis. 

Saint Luke Productions' works include Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz, Saint Francis: Troubadour of God's Peace, John of the Cross, the Gospels of Luke and John, Song of Songs, The Confessions of Saint Augustine and Thérèse: The Story of a Soul. These films and live dramas have won numerous national and international awards and have been aired on cable and network stations for decades. His feature film THÉRÈSE, was the first major motion picture distributed solely by an independent Catholic film company, and funded entirely by donations. The current Saint Luke Productions project, VIANNEY, ( based on the life of St. John Vianney of France (1786 - 1859), recently recognized by Pope Benedict XVI as a model for all priests and laity, is in its second year on a successful nationwide tour. It has become one of the most popular one-person shows in America and continues on tour in the U.S., Canada, and internationally for another year. 

With an eye on the future, Defilippis is hopeful that the pendulum will swing with momentum, toward a culture that hungers for spiritual works of art, offering a personal encounter with Christ and His Saints. 

For information about Saint Luke Productions and their products, including a list of their current, live performance locations for VIANNEY ( or call 1-800-683-2998.


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