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

News Bites

by Rose Marie Berger 03-01-2006
  • Give a Hoot. Despite official U.S. opposition, nations that have signed the Kyoto Protocol were able to make progress on binding emission-reduction goals for industrialized countries at a Montreal meeting in December. Nearly 200 U.S. mayors attended in support of the Protocol, as well as many U.S. faith groups.

The Great Silence

by Rose Marie Berger 03-01-2006
Lent invites us to a 'tranquil listening of the heart.'

Come On Down!

by Rose Marie Berger 03-01-2006

Twenty-five Christian peacemakers, members of Witness Against Torture, walked 50 miles from Santiago, Cuba, to the gates of the controversial U.S. Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay in December to protest the treatment of prisoners detained there.

Walking the Women's Road

by Rose Marie Berger 02-01-2006

Robert Ellsberg is an editor’s editor.

Raising an Army of 'Peculiar' People

by Rose Marie Berger 02-01-2006
Christian peacemakers in Baghdad.

The Baghdad Four

by Rose Marie Berger 02-01-2006

More than 100 Palestinians from the village of At-Tuwani, including these children, attended a vigil in December for four members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams.

Prayer: It Does a Body Good

by Rose Marie Berger 02-01-2006

Prayer can literally change our brain.

News Bites

by Rose Marie Berger 02-01-2006

Golden Deal. McDonald’s will sell fair trade coffee in more than 650 of its restaurants in the northeastern United States.

Dead Man Talking

by Rose Marie Berger 02-01-2006

A dozen years after Ruben Cantu was executed by the state of Texas for capital murder, the only witness to Cantu’s alleged crime came forward in November to recant his testimony, saying Ca

Women's Work

by Rose Marie Berger 01-01-2006

Members of Women’s Will, an Iraqi human rights organization, demonstrate outside the Ministry of Human Rights in Baghdad for better treatment of prisoners.

News Bites

by Rose Marie Berger 01-01-2006

JPII Double. Actor Jon Voight plays the title role in the new CBS miniseries Pope John Paul II

Troops Come Home Now

by Rose Marie Berger 12-01-2005
Troops Come Home Now

Religious leaders—including UCC pastor Diane Baker, theologian Cornel West, Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Father Paul Mayer, and pentecostal pastor Osagyefo Sekou—were among the 370 people, including military families, who were arrested at the White House in September. Tens of thousands came to Washington, D.C., for the weekend events, marching under the message “Support the troops. Bring them home now.”

News Bites

by Rose Marie Berger 12-01-2005
Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

Ark-Type: In September, evangelical and Jewish scientists, ethicists, and environmentalists launched the “Noah Alliance” to protect and strengthen the Endangered Species Act. “[W]e don’t have to agree on how the world was created in order to join forces to protect all creatures on Earth,” said Cal DeWitt, president of the Academy of Evangelical Scientists and Ethicists.

Airing the Future

by Rose Marie Berger 12-01-2005
Airing the Future

Television history was made in the Middle East during the summer when a documentary exploring solutions to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was aired in Hebrew and Arabic on Israeli and Palestinian stations. It also was broadcast to the Arabic-speaking world on the Abu Dhabi satellite channel.

A Plumpy'nut Christmas

by Rose Marie Berger 12-01-2005
A Plumpy’nut Christmas

In this space we usually poke fun at religious kitsch, but occasionally we give a shout-out when someone makes a really great product—such as Plumpy’nut, made by Nutriset. In 2000, this 50-person French company rolled out a vitamin-rich peanut paste that has already saved the lives of thousands of children in famine-stricken regions around the world. The secret to Plumpy’nut’s success?

Rabble Rousing

by Rose Marie Berger 12-01-2005
The arrest slip identified my 'property' as a Bible, a set of keys, and shoelaces.

Boat Bounty

by Rose Marie Berger, by Mark Betz 09-01-2005
In May,

In May, residents of Adele, Somalia, received fishing boats with the help of SAACID, the first Somali women’s NGO, in response to the December 2004 tsunami. The project, which provided boats and fishing supplies to 46 households and a month’s supply of food to 100 households, was sponsored by the Mennonite Central Committee in the United States.

Sundays for Darfur

by Rose Marie Berger, by Mark Betz 09-01-2005
Hundreds gathered at sites around Washington,

Hundreds gathered at sites around Washington, D.C., in June and July to pray for and demand justice in Darfur, Sudan. The series of public worship services on five consecutive Sundays was organized by Brian McLaren of Cedar Ridge Community Church in Maryland, in conjunction with Sojourners, Africa Action, the Genocide Intervention Fund, and the Religious Action Center of

Labor Movement

by Rose Marie Berger, by Mark Betz 09-01-2005
In June,

In June, six Iraqi labor union leader - representatives of three major Iraqi labor organizations - visited the United States to discuss their struggle for equitable labor practices under U.S. occupation. Saddam Hussein issued Law 150 in 1987 to prohibit workers in state-owned enterprises from joining unions. Under Iraq’s newly elected government and the U.S. ruling authority, those laws still exist - and are defended as a symbol

Foxhole Conversions?

by Rose Marie Berger, by Mark Betz 09-01-2005
The Gregg Gift Company started selling Bible covers in 1971 out of a garage in Southern California.

The Gregg Gift Company started selling Bible covers in 1971 out of a garage in Southern California. While most of the company’s stock tends toward inspirational products, with designs from artists such as Thomas Kinkade and Mary Engelbreit, they also have a hard-core Christian product line aimed at teens.