The Very Reverend Dr. James A. 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 soon after 9/11 and just before a devastating fire struck the Cathedral a month after that election. The Cathedral has been undergoing restoration and strategic repositioning. It was rededicated on November 30, 2008, beginning the launch of what may be the most exciting chapter in its history since its cornerstone was laid in 1892.
Dean Kowalski was recruited to ordained ministry by the Rockefeller “Trial Year” fellowship in 1973, when he graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Since his ordination in 1978, he has also served parishes in Newtown, Hartford, and Darien, Connecticut. He is an inaugural Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a Fellow of the American Leadership Forum. He is a member of the Board of Overseers for St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York; trustee of Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA; a director of the Center for Interreligious Understanding; and a member of the advisory board of the Episcopal Actors’ Guild of America, Inc. He is also president of the foundation board of the Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend, VT, where he and his wife, the Reverend Anne A. Brewer, MD, own a home. Dr. Brewer is associate director of the Family Medicine residency program at Stamford Hospital and an Episcopal priest. They have two grown children: Becky, a surgery resident at Lenox Hill Hospital in NYC, and Matt, an electrical engineer who owns a telecommunications and computer company in Baltimore.