Wow! That’s the first word that comes to mind as I reflect on a recent interview I conducted with Leonardo Defilippis, president of St. Luke Productions and producer of “Saint Francis,” coming soon to the stage at Christ Cathedral.
Sitting in the second row of the Freed Theater, where Defilippis will soon play the leading role in the story of the life of St. Francis of Assisi, you wouldn’t know he had just stepped off an airplane and rushed to meet me for an interview. The energy and passion for his work – a 35-year quest to share the life of Christ and the stories of the saints through theater – keep him going more than might a double espresso.
Someone should make a story of HIS life.
The Shakespearean actor, who had fallen away from the Church, found his way back and is hoping that through opportunities he has created to act in his productions, he might help other actors to find their way back, too. After a conversion, he decided that this was his life’s work: using his talents as an actor and producer to inspire others through a historical look at the saints.
When he committed himself to this effort, Defilippis wrote to Mother Teresa to ask for her prayers. He received a note of inspiration from her in return. The two corresponded several times and Defilippis says the letters are true treasures.
A friend of Bishop Kevin Vann (they met each other in Illinois, when Bishop Vann was Father Vann), it was the Bishop who invited Defilippis to bring his talents and his ministry to the Diocese of Orange as part of the Christ Cathedral Drama Series.
Now in its third year the drama series this season consists of the four productions listed here.
“Faustina: Messenger of Divine Mercy” / August 12–14, 2016
“Saint Francis” / September 30 – October 2, 2016
“Therese: The Story of a Soul” / January 27-29, 2017
“Vianney” / April 7–9, 2017
I’ve already purchased my tickets for “Saint Francis” and am looking forward to it, especially because I selected Francis as my confirmation name. What a wonderful way to introduce these heroic saints to young confirmation students who will soon be selecting their own confirmation names.
Tickets for “Saint Francis” and all the remaining productions can be purchased online at rcbo.org/events; search for Christ Cathedral Drama Series.