The Very Reverend Dr. James Kowalski has been Dean of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City since March of 2002, elected by its Board in 2001 soon after 9/11 and just a month before a devastating fire struck the Cathedral. Following repairs, the Cathedral was rededicated in 2008. Its restoration and strategic repositioning continue. An important part of the institutional mission is to invite people – through liturgy, art and discourse – into “the great conversations of our times” and into advocacy for more just societies.
Since his ordination in 1978, Dean Kowalski has served parishes in Newtown, Hartford, and Darien, Connecticut. He is a board member of Episcopal Charities/Diocese of New York, the Center for Interreligious Understanding and the Advisory Board of The Episcopal Actors’ Guild of America. He has been a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute, a fellow of the American Leadership Forum and a participant in several interfaith conferences abroad sponsored by Peace Research Institute Oslo, most recently in Iran. In 2015 he traveled to South Korea as part of the Conference for World Peace & Reunification of Korea.
The Dean’s wife, the Reverend Anne A. Brewer, M.D., is Director of Palliative Care at Stamford (Connecticut) Hospital and an Episcopal priest. His daughter Becky is a surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital specializing in General Surgery and his son, Matt co-owns a cybersecurity company in Maryland that subcontracts with the Federal government. Matt’s wife Emily is a medical resident in radiation oncology in Baltimore and their son, Luke is the Dean’s first grandchild.