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
Joseph Dantica's Death
Sojourners magazine scooped CBS's 60 Minutes when we interviewed Haitian author Edwidge Danticat in April about the death of her uncle, Joseph Dantica (she spells her name differently than her uncle), and about immigration issues. Watch 60 Minutes correspondent
A Rose That Blooms Every 500 Years
At the Associated Church Press conference two weeks ago in Ft. Worth, Texas, I heard Phyllis Tickle, founding editor of the religion department at Publishers Weekly, speak about Christianity's every-500-years growth spurts. In her talk (and forthcoming book
Pope Watch: Part 2
Sometimes I wish I could channel Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan. Then I'd be able to tell you why the pope was wearing bright red leather shoes.
I stood in the press corps balcony watching the popemobile flanked by black Escalades approach the John Paul II Cultural Center for Benedict XVI's interreligious meeting with faith leaders. He entered the brightly lit atrium to the [...]
Pope Watch: Part 1
I love the "construction phase" of liturgy and great ceremony. Waiting at the John Paul II Cultural Center for Pope Benedict to arrive for a meeting with interreligious leaders, I took a quick tour through some of the artwork. I was especially impressed by the wacky Warhol print of John Paul II. Also, through the atrium windows I could see a 25-yard-long brightly colored creation laid out on the floor by Guatemalan artists to welcome the pope and wish him peace. It appears to be made of [...]
Bobblehead Pope On the Rails
Who says that Americans don't have a sense of humor? This video ad put out by the Washington, D.C., transit authority prompting the faithful to ride Metro when the Pope visits this week proves the point.
The U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference was less than pleased and asked Metro to pull the ad. My guess is the Pope would have laughed-but the Bishops apparently need additional practice in exercising their authority.
Edwidge Danticat Describes a 'Death by Asylum'
Death by Asylum
How Green is Your Collar?
All the Democratic presidential candidates talked about “green-collar jobs.” But what are they?
Demolition of Public Housing Approved
Despite protests at New Orleans City Hall last December, the city council voted unanimously for a federal plan that will demolish 4,500 public housing units in favor of developing fewer units on a
Christians Push Peace in Kenya
As Kenya continues to transition from a one-party nation to a liberal democracy, churches from various traditions are coming together to encourage constructive dialogue between the two major polit
A Peculiar Hope
Sometimes, Easter finds us.
Sojourners Article Subject Becomes Independent Film
In March 2006, Sojourners editorial projects intern Celeste Kennel-Shank wrote a great feature article for us titled "Green Hair, Grey Hair" about the D.C.-based project "We Are Family" started by Mark Anderson. Now, for the first time on the independent screen, one of our articles has inspired a movie! Read the description below about the new film directed by Katrina Taylor and produced by [...]
Da Nukes Gotta Go
All's Quiet on the God Front
A Low-Carbon Diet
This Lent, Christians are invited to “Fast from Carbon.” The Regeneration Project’s Interfaith Power and Light carbon fast is a reminder that although global warming threatens
Where's Your Cross Made?
“Jesus, take pity on me!
Keeping Up With Our Elders
Because I was born in 1963, I qualify as a bottom-of-the-barrel "baby boomer" (a person born between 1946 and 1964). I'm not ready to make a post-workforce transition or second-half of life vocational shift, but I'm watching my elders who are.
In Sunday's Washington Post, there was an article by Marc Freedman
What's In Your Milk?
If you don’t want to drink milk from cows injected with hormones, then be careful buying milk in Pennsylvania. As of Feb.