Senior Editor, Sojourners magazine
Photo: Brandon Hook / Sojourners

Invite Rose to Speak

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:

She lives in the Southern Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C., in the Anacostia watershed on traditional Piscataway lands.

Posts By This Author

Art as Permanent Accusation

by Rose Marie Berger 02-01-2008

Fernando Botero on Abu Ghraib

News Bites

by Rose Marie Berger, by Alexis Vaughan 02-01-2008

Color of Money. In 1974, the U.S. median black income was 63 percent of that of whites.

What's In Your Milk?

by Rose Marie Berger, by Alexis Vaughan 02-01-2008

If you don’t want to drink milk from cows injected with hormones, then be careful buying milk in Pennsylvania. As of Feb.

Protecting the Victims

by Rose Marie Berger, by Alexis Vaughan 02-01-2008

The 2007 reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) brought together a diverse, bipartisan coalition to encourage Congress to improve the bill.

On Becoming a Christian

by Rose Marie Berger 02-01-2008
During Lent, we think about the saints who listened in the night.

Mustard Seed Sized?

by Rose Marie Berger, by Alexis Vaughan 02-01-2008

Twenty-first century technological advances make it possible to carry the ancient scriptures everywhere you go with the $10 Itty Bitty Bible!

In the Image of God: Male and Female

by Rose Marie Berger 01-14-2008


When I asked a leading progressive biblical scholar who was doing the very best bible work on images of God and gender theology, she didn't hesitate in her answer: Elizabeth Johnson, she said.


Johnson, a Roman Catholic sister in the Congregation of St. Joseph, is interviewed about images of God in the January U.S. Catholic (


Bush Gets a Brush-Up on the Beatitudes

by Rose Marie Berger 01-11-2008

Archbishop Elias Chacour, an Eastern-rite Palestinian Catholic bishop in the region of Galilee, is escorting President Bush on a tour of the Mount of the Beatitudes in Israel on Friday, Jan. 11. This date also marks the sixth year since the arrival of the first prisoners to the

Archbishop of Canterbury on a 'Green' New Year

by Rose Marie Berger 01-03-2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury posted his New Year's message on YouTube - inviting everyone making a resolution in 2008 to keep asking, "What world do we want to pass on to the next generation?" Filmed between a recycling center and the Canterbury Cathedral, Archbishop Rowan Williams said:

In a society where we think of so many things as disposable, where we expect to be constantly discarding last year's gadget and [...]

Wading in Blackwater

by Rose Marie Berger, by Alexis Vaughan 01-01-2008

Data reviewed by the Congres­sional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform weighed the financial pros and cons of relying on private contractors or paramilitaries, such as Blackwater USA,

Church Parking Lot is Safe Haven

by Rose Marie Berger, by June G. Vajda 01-01-2008

In response to a police crackdown on people living on the streets, First Presbyterian Church in downtown Dallas opened its parking lot as a safe space for homeless people to sleep—even provid

Black Church Leaders Meet on AIDS

by Rose Marie Berger, by Alexis Vaughan 01-01-2008

More than 150 leading African-American clergy, scho­lars, government officials, and health experts joined in October with the National Black Leadership Commis­sion on AIDS to respond to HIV

Untimely Pregnant

by Rose Marie Berger 01-01-2008
Mary and Elizabeth teach hope in bitter times.

On Becoming a Christian

by Rose Marie Berger 01-01-2008

During Lent, we think about the saints who listened in the night.

Wine for Abundant Life

by Rose Marie Berger, by Alexis Vaughan 01-01-2008

The Community of Sant´Egidio, a Catholic lay group, is encouraging a glass of good wine with supper.

Acts of Advent

by Rose Marie Berger 12-19-2007

During Advent, as I kindle the wreath candles that mark the journey to the Bethlehem stable, I return to particular writers that I love and certain music that I can't seem to get through the seasons without. I have Advent habits.

For instance, I often re-read W.H. Auden's For the Time Being. In one portion King Herod weighs the threat to publiic order posed by the birth of the Christ child. Is the collatoral damage of murdering the male children justified in order to maintain [...]

Good News Bad News of Energy Bill

by Rose Marie Berger 12-17-2007

The watered-down energy bill passed by the Senate on Thursday raised fuel-economy standards by 40 percent-not a bad thing. Congress also boosted the production of biofuels to 36 billion gallons per year by 2022-and 21 billion must come from something other than corn-based ethanol, which is good since it takes more fossil fuel to make corn ethanol than corn ethanol saves. According to

Ride the Curl

by Rose Marie Berger, by Alexis Vaughan 12-01-2007

Ride the Curl Jesus is cool again! He rides a motorcycle, plays soccer and football, enjoys the occasional rodeo—plus, he surfs!

Methodists Consider Divestment

by Rose Marie Berger, by Alexis Vaughan 12-01-2007

United Methodists in the U.S.

A Crumbling Infrastructure

by Rose Marie Berger 12-01-2007

Between 1950 and 1970, the U.S.