See 'The Gospel According to John'

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By Special to the Monitor

Leonardo Defilippis is an actor with a mission. For 28 years, he’s been bringing the saints and the scriptures to life with dramatic productions on the stage and screen. He is perhaps best known as the director of the feature film “Thérése,” which ran for more than a year in mainstream movie theaters.

On Sunday, he will perform at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish at 5p.m. for a limited engagement of his one-man production of “The Gospel According to John.”

When Leonardo was a young Shakespearean actor performing at the Old Globe in San Diego, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and at the Oregon Shakespearean Festival, he never dreamed that he would spend his career performing religious productions.

But then he went through a personal conversion experience that changed his life, and caused him in 1980 to write a letter to Mother Teresa of Calcutta.  She wrote back, urging him to perform the Gospel.  Her encouragement launched Defilippis in a new direction. He produced seven live productions and six films on the scriptures and the lives of the saints and traveled throughout the U.S. and the world.

“The Gospel According to John” is a performance of the entire Gospel. Through live theater, viewers are no longer eavesdroppers listening to a conversation that took place 2,000 years ago, but instead hear Jesus speak to them personally.  

“The Gospel According to John” is a two-hour production, suitable for ages 7 and older, and admission is  free.