Senior Editor, Sojourners magazine

Rose Marie Berger is a Catholic peace activist and poet. She has been on Sojourners staff since 1986, and worked for social justice movements for 40 years. Rose has rooted herself with Sojourners magazine and ministry. She has written hundreds of articles for Sojourners and other publications and is a sought after preacher and public speaker. After living in Washington, D.C., for 35 years, she moved to Oak View, Calif., in 2022.

Rose’s work in Christian nonviolence has taken her to conflict zones around the world. She is active in the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, a project of Pax Christi International, and served as co-editor for Advancing Nonviolence and Just Peace in the Church and the World, the fruit of a multiyear, global, participatory process to deepen Catholic understanding of and commitment to Gospel nonviolence. Her poetry has appeared in the books Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting a Bioregional Faith and Practice and Buffalo Shout, Salmon Cry: Conversations on Creation, Land Justice, and Life Together. She is author of Bending the Arch: Poems (2019), Drawn By God: A History of the Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries from 1967 to 1991 (with Janet Gottschalk, 2012), and Who Killed Donte Manning? The Story of an American NeighborhoodShe has also been a religion reviewer for Publishers Weekly and a Huffington Post commentator. Her work has appeared in National Catholic Reporter, Publishers Weekly, Religion News Service, Radical Grace-Oneing, The Merton Seasonal, U.S. Catholic, and elsewhere. She serves on the board of The International Thomas Merton Society.

With Sojourners, Rose has worked as an organizer on peace and environmental issues, internship program director, liturgist, community pastor, poetry editor, and, currently, as a senior editor of Sojourners magazine, where she writes a regular column on spirituality and justice. She is responsible for the Living the Word biblical reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, poetry, Bible studies, and interviews – and oversees the production of study guides and the online Bible study Preaching the Word.

Rose has a veteran history in social justice activism, including: leading the first international, inter-religious peace witness into Kyiv, Ukraine, following the outbreak of war in 2022, organizing inter-religious witness against the Keystone XL pipeline; educating and training groups in nonviolence; leading retreats in spirituality and justice; writing on topics as diverse as the “Spiritual Vision of Van Gogh, O'Keeffe, and Warhol,” the war in the Balkans, interviews with Black activists Vincent Harding and Yvonne Delk, the Love Canal's Lois Gibbs, and Mexican archbishop Ruiz, cultural commentary on the Catholic church and the peace movement, reviews of movies, books, and music.

Rose Berger has taught writing and poetry workshops for children and adults. She’s completed her MFA in poetry through the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast program. Her poetry has been published in Sojourners, The Other Side, Radix and D.C. Poets Against the War.

Rose grew up in the Central Valley of California, located in the rich flood plains of the Sacramento and American rivers. Raised in radical Catholic communities heavily influenced by Franciscans and the Catholic Worker movement, she served for nine years on the pastoral team for Sojourners Community Church; five as its co-pastor. She directed Sojourners internship program from 1990-1999. She is currently a senior editor and poetry editor for Sojourners magazine. She has traveled throughout the United States, and also in Ukraine, Israel/Palestine, Costa Rica, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosova, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, and El Salvador visiting primarily with faith communities working for peace in situations of conflict.

Rose was born when atmospheric CO2 was at 319.08 ppm and now lives with her wife Heidi Thompson in Oak View, Calif., in the Ventura River watershed on traditional Chumash lands. Learn more at rosemarieberger.com.

Rose’s articles include:

Rose Marie Berger is available to speak at your next event. Please review our speaker instructions and guidelines or check out our full list of Sojourners speakers.

Speaking Topics

  • Christian nonviolence, peace, war
  • Catholic Nonviolence Initiative
  • Climate change, creation care, watershed discipleship
  • Bible study, liturgical year
  • Poetry
  • Spirituality and social justice
  • Any topic covered in Sojourners magazine
  • Catholicism

Speaking Format

  • Preference for virtual events, but willing to discuss in-person events on case-by-case basis

Posts By This Author

Pastors: Your Kids Are Listening to You on Climate Change

by Rose Marie Berger 03-16-2010
The data is in.

Is Military Money a Stabilizer?

by Rose Marie Berger 03-01-2010

After the failed Christmas bomb attack on a U.S.-bound plane in which the prime suspect admitted that he’d been trained at an al Qaeda boot camp in Yemen, President Obama doubled U.S.

Rise and Shine

by Rose Marie Berger 03-01-2010

Does “awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead!” (Ephesians 5:14) describe your Monday morning?

An Interview with Edwidge Danticat

by Rose Marie Berger 03-01-2010

Editor’s Note: Edwidge Danticat, author of six books including

Johnny Be Good

by Rose Marie Berger 03-01-2010

It was a remarkable moment in November when Johnny Lee Clary, a 50-year-old white Oklahoman, knelt before Bishop George D.

Can Peaceful Protest Stop a Rising Tide?

by Rose Marie Berger 02-01-2010

There are two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever continue to struggle, declared Abraham Lincoln in 1858: “the common right of humanity and the d

Cities Light Up for Life

by Rose Marie Berger 02-01-2010

In November, 1,150 cities around the world—including 60 capitals—lit up public buildings to support an end to the death penalty.

Tools of the Carpenter

by Rose Marie Berger 02-01-2010

Dutch designer Michiel Cornelissen has created the new cross screwdriver that is both a hand tool and a religious symbol!

Is It A.D. Yet?

by Rose Marie Berger 01-01-2010

Once upon a time, a long time ago, unto us a savior was born. Sadly, his mom never threw him a birthday party. But now you can.

Thank a Sister

by Rose Marie Berger 01-01-2010

Sister Linda Fuselier was my first-grade teacher. It was 1969 at St. Ignatius Catholic School in Sacramento, California.

Is That Jesus in Your Pocket?

by Rose Marie Berger 12-01-2009

The Jesus Christ keychain with LED flashlight from Divinity Innovations provides a literal “lamp unto your feet.” Sporting a long-sleeved, rolled-edge crewneck shirt (with an ichthy

Voting for Change

by Rose Marie Berger 12-01-2009

This summer, the largest Lutheran and Episcopalian denominations in the U.S. voted for more complete inclusion of gay and lesbian ministers within their churches.

46 Million Reasons for Health-Care Reform

The moral imperatives for change.

How To Build a Memorial Prayer Altar

Remember your loved ones this month with this beautiful prayer altar

The Bounty Next Door

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 09-01-2009

THE IDEA CAME in a dream. One night Kaytea Petro, co-founder of Neighbor-hood Fruit, dreamt she was searching on a Web site for public fruit trees throughout San Francisco.

Pet Salvation?

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 09-01-2009
Real Product

A Love Letter from the Pope

by Rose Marie Berger 09-01-2009

In July, Pope Benedict wrote you a love letter. Like all love letters, it’s worth savoring.

War on Drugs

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 09-01-2009

THE PRICE OF cocaine in the U.S.

A (Nonviolent) Gun-Toting Witness for Health Care Reform

by Rose Marie Berger 08-21-2009

I'm Ready to Water the Tree of Liberty with Healthcare Reform Now.

"I'm Ready to Water the Tree of Liberty with Healthcare Reform Now."

Who Lit The Fire Under the Right-Wing 'Populists' Against Health-Care Reform?

by Rose Marie Berger 08-10-2009

By now, we've all seen the angry "regular Americans" who are rising up to resist health-care reform. They are demonstrating loudly at town hall meetings. They are holding rallies.