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

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.

Nuts and Bolts

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

How to Keep Track of $20,000,000,000?

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

"The Coalition Provisional Authority [in Iraq] failed to keep detailed accounts of how most of the Iraqi money was spent,” according to an audit report released in February by the Office of S

Sex and the Seminary

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

The Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing published a report in January that found U.S. seminaries and rabbinical schools were sorely lacking in sexuality training.

Gaza's Peace Road?

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 03-01-2009

City Hires Ethicist for Hard Choices

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 03-01-2009

Like many U.S. municipalities, Alexandria, Virginia, is facing financial cuts. But in an unusual move, city officials hired ethicist Michael A.

Just Forgive

by Rose Marie Berger 03-01-2009
Forgiveness is an act of will. Fake it until you make it.

The Giving Plate

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 03-01-2009

In the wake of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depres­sion, tens of millions of Americans have suffered substantial financial losses, with many losing their savings, homes, and jobs.

Interview with Mary Cosby

by Rose Marie Berger 03-01-2009

When Associate Editor Rose Marie Berger contemplated "forgiveness" in preparation for her monthly column in Sojourners magazine, she knew who to go to: elder-prophet-pastor Mary Cosby, 86,

Real Product

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 03-01-2009
Increasing Jesus

Six 'Highlights' from Hard Lessons: The Iraq Reconstruction Experience

by Rose Marie Berger 02-06-2009
Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen has been on the Hill this week going through the gory details of waste, fraud, and mismanagement of the roughly $51 billion we gave fo

A How-To Video on Contemplative Prayer

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 02-01-2009

Sojourners editors Rose Marie Berger and Jeannie Choi demonstrate simple contemplative prayer practices that anyone can adopt into their own worship habits.

Tackling the Unspeakable

by Rose Marie Berger 02-01-2009

On Jan. 20, the United States of America inaugurates its first African-American president and first Catholic vice president.

A 'Mighty Big God'

by Rose Marie Berger 02-01-2009
Our Bright Future, by Tracy Chapman.

Double-Edged Flash Drive of Jesus

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 02-01-2009

“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.

Hope on Death Row?

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 02-01-2009

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

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 02-01-2009

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.

Eboo Patel Audio Clip

by Rose Marie Berger, by Alexis Vaughan 02-01-2009

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.

Lennon Forgiven

by Rose Marie Berger, by Jeannie Choi 02-01-2009

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