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

Twin Towers vs. the Ninth Ward

by Rose Marie Berger 04-01-2007
How should the government respond when disaster strikes---and how can churches help?
Pattie Steib / Shutterstock

Pattie Steib / Shutterstock

WHEN DISASTER STRIKES, churches—from the conservative Southern Baptist Convention to the liberal United Church of Christ—are among the first to respond. However, as Katrina so painfully revealed, churches and charities—no matter how much they give—can't build levees (though neither, apparently, can the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers).

Many faith-based disaster relief agencies are using 9/11 and Katrina as stark comparisons of how government should—and shouldn't—respond to disasters. A May 2006 Urban League report highlighted the differences: "The state response was strong after September 11, and the nonprofit sector tried to work alongside the government as well as fill in the gaps the government left behind, both short and long term. With Katrina, in contrast, the immediate state response was weak, and the nonprofit sector had neither the organizational structure nor the resources to meet immediate needs."

In disaster relief, efficient, well-organized faith-based organizations work best as an adjunct to a strong, responsive, and accountable state.

Housing a Firm Foundation

The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee celebrated victory after a two-year organizing campaign resulted in the local council passing an ordinance to create a Housing Trust Fund (HTF) for su

Woof! Alleluia! Woof!

Let all creation praise! Worried that your pooch won't come with you at the rapture? Anxious that the piety crowd might think your four-legged life partner is short on salvation?

Bewildered Am I

by Rose Marie Berger 04-01-2007
Bewilderment is not momentary confusion. It is becoming fundamentally displaced.

Dreaming America

by Rose Marie Berger 04-01-2007
Forty years after Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the "Beyond Vietnam" speech, what does it mean for America today? A conversation with historian and scholar Vincent G. Harding.

An Interview With the Man Who Wrote King's Most Dangerous Speech

by Rose Marie Berger 04-01-2007

Vincent Harding. Photo: Sojourners.

Vincent G. Harding wrote the speech Martin Luther King Jr. delivered exactly one year before King was assassinated.

Old Nukes, New Uses

Cliff Kindy, a Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) member, stands outside Alliant Techsystems/Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in Rocket City, West Virginia, where radioactive depleted uranium is added to

Thwack! for Jesus

There's no better way to prevent boredom than playing paddleball, and there's no better paddleball to remind you of your status with the Lord than the Inspirational Paddleball Game.

News Bites

  • Legal Aid. Dionisio Díaz García, a Christian labor lawyer for the Association for a More Just Society in Honduras, was assassinated in December on his way to court.
  • Sowing Peace and Justice

    The management of the Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina—where 25,000 to 32,000 hogs are slaughtered each day—and the lawyers of a local Catholic parish

    Christians and Muslims Fight AIDS

    Three hundred Christian and Muslim religious leaders from 20 Arab countries met in Cairo to launch the region's first faith-based network focused on HIV/AIDS.

    Follow the Weapon Trade

    The U.S. provided nearly half of the conventional weapons sold to developing nations in 2005

    Alleged CPT Captors Held for Trial

    Three Christian Peacemaker Teams members who were held captive for 118 days in Iraq met in Britain last December—after police asked them to testify in the trial of their alleged captors&mdash

    Rocking the Boat

    by Rose Marie Berger 03-01-2007

    A new wave of Catholic women answers the call to ordination priesthood - an act of ecclesial disobedience.

    Mercenaries on the Rise

    Private military contractors have reportedly fired indiscriminately on Iraqi civilians hundreds of times throughout the U.S.

    Keeping Christians Cool

    More than 1,500 young evangelicals from across the U.S.

    Black Church Leaders in Holy Land

    A delegation of U.S.

    Touch-Screen Democracy?

    There were no hanging chads to scrutinize on “undervoted” ballots in Florida’s 13th Congressional District during last November’s midterm elections.

    Modern Prophets

    Climate change activists carried out what they called an “art attack” in November by screening political messages on the sides of several London landmarks.

    News Bites

  • Irony Alert.