Citing health and burnout, a popular priest moves out of the shadow of Katrina

The Rev. Jerry Kramer, 41, has resigned the rectorship of the Free Church of the Annunciation in the Broadmoor neighborhood of New Orleans -- a low-lying area savagely wracked by Hurricane Katrina four years ago, Times-Picayune reported today. He cited health reasons both physical and emotional.

Kramer had become well-known as a tireless advocate in the aftermath of the storm. He helped animate a number of ministries that continue to thrive for the benefit of locals, all while convincing parishioners that a building of their own was less important than selfless service.

"Jerry's impact on Broadmoor and the city is absolutely huge, " said Hal Roark, the head of the Broadmoor Development Corp., which grew out of the recovery. "He's absolutely one of the five or so top leaders who made the most impact on Broadmoor."

Now, though, he says he's tired and in poor health. His resignation was supported by his bishop, The Rt. Rev. Charles Jenkins -- a man who, the paper notes, "will take early retirement in December as another self-described Katrina casualty."

Kramer agrees the abrupt nature of his timing might have been better, but

[he] considers himself spent. And he believes it is time for him to leave. "It is so clear that God brought us here for Katrina, " he said last week. "But now that's done. The leader who gets an institution through a crisis has to know when the crisis is over.

"If I keep hanging around, they'll stay in Katrina mode. And they have to move on from that."

Comments (1)

Jerry is indeed a tireless worker. My church in Colorado supported him and sent numerous groups down to work with him. I pray that the ministry in Broadmoor continues and that his family can recover and continue to minister.

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