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

On the Seventh Day, God Played

by Rose Marie Berger 08-01-2009

It’s summer here in the northern climes—and summer means the swimming pool.

Real Product

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 08-01-2009
Need Holy Backup?

No More Droning On

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 08-01-2009

In April, 14 Christians were arrested at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, from where drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan are guided, in the first major U.S. public protest against combat drones.

Minority Reports

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 08-01-2009

Last November’s election was the most racially and ethnically diverse in U.S. history, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.

Holy Health Care!

by Rose Marie Berger 07-21-2009
Debates on our national system of providing health care are raging in political a

Executions Worldwide Nearly Doubled in 2008

by Rose Marie Berger 07-10-2009
The number of executions worldwide nearly doubled last year compared with 2007, according to a http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ACT50/003/2009/en/0b789cb1-baa8-...

A How-To Video on Contemplative Prayer

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 07-01-2009

Sojourners editors Rose Marie Berger and Jeannie Choi demonstrate simple contemplative prayer practices that anyone can adopt into their own worship habits. In part one, Rose and Jeannie talk about contemplative prayer and learn how to do a simple prayer exercise that uses the verse, "Be still and know that I am God," to center one's heart on God. In part two, Rose teaches Jeannie about Lectio Divina, a meditative reading of the Bible that encourages prayerful reflection.

Stammering Through Dreams

by Rose Marie Berger 07-01-2009

I dreamt last night I was being deployed to Iraq.

Twitter Against Nukes

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 07-01-2009

The recently launched Two Futures Project is twittering us into a non-nuclear future.

Global Death Penalty

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 07-01-2009
Stats

Cookie of Christ

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 07-01-2009
Real Product

The Mosque in Morgantown: Finding Our Religion within American Pluralism

by Rose Marie Berger 06-12-2009
In March, I had lunch with Asra Nomani at Sticky Fingers, the vegan bakery across from the Sojourners office.

Abu Ghraib: Don't Be Afraid of the Truth

by Rose Marie Berger 06-03-2009
Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba wrote the U.S. Army's report on the Abu Ghraib torture scandal. He was then forced into retirement.

Real Product

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 06-01-2009
Faith Walk Needs Socks

The Woman Who Changed America

by Rose Marie Berger 06-01-2009

Francis Perkins was the consience behind the New Deal.

Holy Water

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 06-01-2009

The Ecumenical Water Network, an international Christian body formed to raise awareness about justice and the global water crisis, declared its frustration that the World Water Forum, which met in

Mennonites Call Church to Confess

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 06-01-2009

More than 100 Mennonite pastors and lay ministers released a letter in April to the Mennonite Church USA, calling for the denomination to extend full welcome to gay and lesbian people and inviting

D.C. Tests Positive

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 06-01-2009

Three percent of all District of Columbia residents are living with HIV/AIDS, according to a report released in March by the District government. The U.S.

A Memory of Paradise

by Rose Marie Berger 05-01-2009
What's the unique contribution of religion to the 'green economy'?

Will Africa Say No to Nukes?

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 04-01-2009

When two more African na­tions ratify the Pelindaba anti-nuclear weapons treaty, the globe’s Southern hemisphere will become a nuclear weapons-free zone.