Parish Administrator and Director of Music & Liturgy
Since moving to Santa Fe in 1995, Mark has served as organist for First Church of Christ, Scientist and Santa Maria de la Paz Catholic Community, and as Pontifical organist for the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. In September 2006 Mark accepted the position as organist at Holy Faith and in May 2011 he accepted the full-time position of Director of Music and Parish Administrator, overseeing all aspects of music as well as events and liturgical volunteers for the parish.
Mark has studied under and been mentored by iconic organ legends Tom Matthews of Trinity Episcopal Church in Tulsa, Dr. Thomas Richner of Boston, and as choir director has worked with Dr. Dennis Shrock, former Artistic Director of the Santa Fe Desert Chorale.
Mark believes the choir as an ensemble must support the spiritual message of the music. “I want them to feel a sense of accomplishment. I would never choose anything that would compromise that. I also try to see that everyone has a ‘voice’ in the choir.”
A collateral goal of making the choir work also means being responsive to the wide range of parishioners. Many of Holy Faith’s members were raised in other religious denominations. “This church is very broad in terms of where its members come from. We try to make each service accessible to everyone. This is a very sensory experience. Heaven and earth meet at this church. What we do on Sunday is more about how we respond to our world. “But if you make the music, the people will come.”
Director, Royal School of Church Music and Bell Choir
Soprano Kathlene Ritch was raised in an academic family of musicians and theatrical talent. Kathlene sings in the choir at Church of the Holy Faith and serves as Director of the Bell Choir and the Royal School of Church Music program, a ministry that she embraces with boundless energy.
The structured approach of RSCM is results oriented, combining sight training and ear training while simultaneously exposing children to the classical repertoire. As students progress, they also achieve real rewards and recognition and eventual certification by the organization. Students in RSCM range in age from six to 14. The program is open to the Santa Fe community at large. “I feel like I’m giving back something of value by helping these youngsters find their own voices or get over the butterflies that come with live performance,” she says. Able to benefit from highly personalized instruction from a voice professional, students can eventually earn a place in the 11 a.m. Choral Eucharist on Sunday.
Kathlene came to Santa Fe in 2011, after living and working professionally in Austin, TX, where she studied music at The University of Texas, and New York City, where she sang professionally and earned the opportunity to perform with the New York Philharmonic. In addition to her singing duties as a soprano in the choir at Holy Faith, she remains active in the Santa Fe Desert Chorale and is a touring member of Conspirare, a world-class choral ensemble based in her hometown of Austin.
Donna Lukacs joined Holy Faith as Parish Secretary in January,2015. A native of New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University where she studied German, French and music. After college she worked in customer service in a software firm where she became fluent in a different kind of language – the language of computers. This led to a fifteen-year career as an IT consultant.
In August 2011, she left her job at an insurance company in Portland Oregon, packed up her car, and moved to Santa Fe – a great leap of faith since she had not been in this part of the world before
Before coming to Holy Faith, Donna gained experience in the non-profit world as the Operations Manager for the Desert Chorale.
A painter, who also works in pastels and mixed media, Donna has found inspiration in the light and landscape of New Mexico.