Rose, a native of the West Coast, lives in Washington, D.C. She has been on Sojourners staff since 1986.
For more than 30 years, Rose has rooted herself with Sojourners magazine and ministry. 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 Neighborhood.
A native of the West Coast, Rose has lived in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. since the mid-1980s. In the course of a 30 plus-year career in faith-based activism, advocacy journalism, and pastoral leadership, she has proven to be a skilled organizer, exceptional writer, visionary pastoral leader, and innovative teacher of biblical literacy.
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 Associate Editor of Sojourners magazine, where she writes a regular column on spirituality and justice. She is responsible for the Living the Word section, poetry, Bible studies, and interviews – and oversees the production of study guides, discussion guides, and the online bible study Preaching the Word. She is also 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.
Rose has a veteran history in social justice activism, including: 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.
A founding member of a small creative writing group, 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 senior editor and poetry editor for Sojourners magazine.
She has traveled throughout the United States, and also in 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’s articles include:
- Pursuing the Secret of Joy: What is joy when it's not promiscuously tied to happiness, Hallmark, or hedonism?
- Nonviolence in Najaf?: Will we recognize an Islamic peace movement when we see it?
- A Presidential Option for the Poor? :Venezuela's Hugo Chavez stirs up fierce criticism - and hope.
- Of Love's Risen Body: The poetry of Denise Levertov, 1923-1997
- Glimpses of God Outside the Temple: The spiritual vision of Vincent Van Gogh, Georgia O'Keefe, and Andy Warhol.
- Damnation Will Not Be Televised: Almost everything I know about hell I learned from watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer
She lives in the Southern Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C., in the Anacostia watershed on traditional Piscataway lands.
Posts By This Author
Hope on Death Row?
In October, the families of crime victims and the families of perpetrators came together for a common cause: Abolish the death penalty in Montana.
Eating With the Enemy
More than 300 religious and political leaders met in New York in September to break bread with an unlikely dinner guest: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
A How-To Video on Contemplative Prayer
Sojourners editors Rose Marie Berger and Jeannie Choi demonstrate simple contemplative prayer practices that anyone can adopt into their own worship habits.
In November, the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano reported that John Lennon is officially forgiven for his 1966 quip that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus,&rdquo
A Broken System
Rose Marie Berger interviews author Jim Douglass
In a groundbreaking 2008 book, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters, Catholic theologian and nonviolence leader Jim Douglass probes the role of the principalities and po
Eboo Patel Audio Clip
Hear Eboo Patel, founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, talk about the indelible mark the Catholic Worker movement left on him during his college years.
American Muslim Eboo Patel founded the Interfaith Youth Core to give al Qaeda a run for its money. At stake? The soul of a generation.
Tackling the Unspeakable
On Jan. 20, the United States of America inaugurates its first African-American president and first Catholic vice president.
A 'Mighty Big God'
Double-Edged Flash Drive of Jesus
“Thy word is a [USB flash drive] unto my feet” is the good news that the folks over at The Amazing Bible Cross are singing.
Making Abortion Rare
A 2008 study commissioned by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good found that social policies that increase economic support to women in the U.S.
Africa Demands Climate Change Compensation
Under the U.N.
Lookin' for the Light
What with the destruction of the ozone layer, God’s people need some serious eye protection.
The Poverty Pulpit
In September, hundreds of churches nationwide joined in Poverty Sunday, part of Sojourners’ Vote Out Poverty campaign, to preach justice for the poor from the pulpit.
Welcoming the Stranger: Illegal?
In Brookville, Pennsylvania, a dispute over laws has shaken the otherwise quiet community.
Actor Paul Newman, who died in September, founded the only global forum of business CEOs focused on increasing corporate philanthropy.
Elections and Christ the King
The great wheel of the Christian liturgical year is turning once again.
A Delicious Peace
In 2003, Ugandan Jewish coffee farmer J.J. Keki asked himself what he could do to stop religious violence.
By the new year, the Vatican will go solar. In September, engineers began installing 2,000 solar panels designed by the German firm SolarWorld and given to the Vatican as an Epiphany gift.