Sunday, December 3, 2006

Photo Post: Leonardo DeFilippis at Assumption Grotto in Maximillian - Saint of Auschwitz

In a recent post, I mentioned that Catholic actor and producer, Leonardo DeFilippis (scroll down for his bio) was coming to the metro-Detroit area for about a week's worth of stage performances at scattered parishes. It is among several made by St. Luke Productions. One of those was at Assumption Grotto this afternoon, where he played the role of Maxillian - Saint of Auschwitz, among several supporting personalities.

I have never been big on stage plays, but this actor's talents, and the solid Catholic content, had me hooked from the moment the show began. This switch of persons by one man really had me intrigued as it was quite artful and subtle.

I never knew much about St. Maximillian Kolbe, other than he had died in one of Hitler's concentration camps during WWII. With the help of this play, I now understand more about him, the extraordinary circumstances in which he lived - not died, and why he was canonized under Pope John Paul II. Despite the fact that it involved such a sad part of human history, it was not depressing to me, but triumphant in ways that only a believer can comprehend.

Photos from Assumption Grotto

They asked that no recordings, pictures, or movies be taken during the performance, but I asked for permission from Leonardo DeFilippis earlier in the afternoon so that I could promote the remainder of the local tour. Photos were taken without flash in order to not distract people while watching. There is some slight loss of clarity in most of these because without flash the shutter stays open longer, and movement related to talking can cause blur.

The photo below was taken after the play was concluded, and following a brief bow. He turned to Our Lady of Czestochowa and pointed to her, giving the Blessed Mother her due. This was actually profound for me because it was a visible sign who is ultimately behind this work. Through her come the graces of accomplishment. It is done for her, and through her.

The speech which followed by Leonardo DeFilippis was just as profound, and as moving as the play itself. Being outwardly and openly Roman Catholic in a secular world is something for which we ought never to be ashamed. Just the same, we should never be ashamed of humble devotion to Mary. Whenever I meditate on the actions of matyrs, I can't help but think that while they sacrificed their very lives for Christ and his Church, many of us today are afraid to sacrifice our popularity by going against the grain for what is true and good.

Remaining performances in Metro-Detroit

Dec. 4 – 7:30 pm –Davidson Middle School Auditorium (Southgate)
Dec. 5 – 7 pm - St. John Neumann (Canton)
Dec. 6 – 7 pm – Spiritus Sanctus Academy (Plymouth)
Dec. 7 – 7 pm - Holy Spirit (Highland)

Dec. 6 – 10 am – 12:30 pm - Casting Call (auditions) (Dearborn)
For detailed info, call Suzanne at 248-217-0844


In the lastest newsletter, which you can sign up for at their website (it is not uploaded yet), an urgent appeal is made for donations. If you think they hit the big bucks with the recent movie, "Therese", think again. The cost of distributing it sapped them and they are struggling to continue. If we want movies like this to continue, we need to support them financially and in other ways.

  1. Pray for them
  2. Support their work with your purchases
  3. Support their work with donations (it is a 501-c3 Non-profit org)
  4. Schedule a performance for one of many dramas at your parish
  5. Attend a performance already scheduled (throughout the US)
  6. Check their employment board for opportunities

More upcoming events at Assumption Grotto:

Te Deum Laudamus! Home


queen bee said...

The pictures are wonderful! THANK YOU! I'm sending them to Leonardo. I hope that they can figure out a way to do an album on his website for his tour.
Thanks for all of the links to St. Luke Productions and St. Maximilian Kolbe information and more. I hope that many others will book the live dramas by this great Catholic professional actor!

Diane said...

You're welcome.

When the Holy Spirit moves souls in various works, that work - though different - is collaborative. Only human weakness can interfere with such collaborative efforts. Like instruments in a symphony, souls moved by the Holy Spirit work in harmony. Catholics at all levels need to work together to promote things freely and collaboratively for the good of the faith.

I long to see St. Luke Productions give St. John Vianney his due. May God give them the graces necessary to restore the Cure d'Ars to the priestly role model status he once enjoyed, for the good of the priesthood, and for all of us in need of such brave and unworldly shepherds.

Diane said...

Oh - and for those who don't know....

St. John Vianney is in the pipeline at St. Luke Productions.

Send them donations so they can do this! They are a non-profit and depend on our contributions. They don't have big Hollywood budgets.