The Very Rev. James A. Kowalski, dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, will leave his position at the end of June 2017.

In a letter published on the cathedral’s website, Kowalski reflected on his 15 years at the cathedral and explained his decision to resign.

“When I was first elected as Dean in 2001, in the aftermath of 9/11 and just a month before the terrible fire that struck the Cathedral, there was much to do,” he wrote. “Since then, we have worked together to stabilize the Cathedral financially, embarked on a multi-million dollar restoration of this magnificent structure, and established an important strategic planning process to take the Cathedral community into the future. But, while much has been accomplished, there is more to be done, and this is an ideal time for the Bishop to bring in a Dean who will build on this foundation.”

Kowalski said he would work with the bishop and cathedral board over the coming year to ensure an orderly transition and that he would take sabbatical time with his wife to discern “the next chapter in our lives.”

Photo Wikimedia Commons/Kripaks