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

Who's There? Selective Service

by Rose Marie Berger, by Mark Betz 03-01-2005
The Church of the Brethren Service Center in Maryland,

The Church of the Brethren Service Center in Maryland, site of Anabaptist organizing around issues of conscientious objection to military service, received a surprise visit last October from the director of the Selective Service System’s Alternative

Tanks vs. Olive Branches

by Rose Marie Berger 02-01-2005

An interview with Palestinian leader Hanan Ashrawi on feminism, faith, and the future of the Palestinian cause.

All Work, No Pay

by Rose Marie Berger, by Mark Betz 02-01-2005

While President Bush pledges to reduce poverty through tax reform, the number of low-income Americans-especially the working poor-continues to skyrocket, according to the "Working Hard, Falli

Web exclusive: Full text of Hanan Ashrawi interview

by Rose Marie Berger 02-01-2005

An interview with Palestinian leader Hanan Ashrawi on feminism, faith, and the future of the Palestinian cause.

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

by Rose Marie Berger, by Mark Betz 02-01-2005

With the sound of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus played every hour on the hour, the Last Supper Wall Clock is a tasteful accoutrement no dining room should be without.

Say Amen, Somebody!

by Rose Marie Berger, by Mark Betz 02-01-2005
Oklahoma

News Bites

by Rose Marie Berger, by Mark Betz 02-01-2005

  • Grand Gestures.

Kids in the Crosshairs

by Rose Marie Berger 02-01-2005
'It's hard to see your apartment building closed for a Starbucks to move in.'

Truth-Telling Time

by Rose Marie Berger, by Mark Betz 02-01-2005

Several hundred people marched through Greensboro, North Carolina, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Greensboro Massacre and to complete the 1979 anti-Klan march that was cut short when Klansmen

Catholics Take On Single-Issue Bishops

by Rose Marie Berger, by Mark Betz 02-01-2005

Catholic reform movement Call To Action - a national 25,000-member group of laity, religious, and clergy-is challenging U.S.

Body Language

by Rose Marie Berger, by Mark Betz 02-01-2005
Sex Trafficking

The Woman Who Planted Trees

by Rose Marie Berger, by Mark Betz 01-01-2005

Catholic Kenyan environmental activist Wangari Maathai won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize—a first for an African woman and a first for environmentalism

We Are Still Here

by Rose Marie Berger, by Mark Betz 01-01-2005

The largest gathering of American Indians in U.S. history came together in Washington, D.C., in September for the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

Beaten, Not Bowed

by Rose Marie Berger, by Mark Betz 01-01-2005

Christian Peacemaker Teams members Kim Lamberty and Chris Brown were attacked Sept. 29 by five Israeli settlers while accompanying Palestinian school children south of Hebron.

B-B-B-Bibleman!

by Rose Marie Berger, by Mark Betz 01-01-2005
Real Product

News Bites

by Rose Marie Berger, by Mark Betz 01-01-2005

Up in the Air!

 

Rebuilding Iraq?

by Rose Marie Berger, by Mark Betz 01-01-2005

Congress' spending stats

Full Immersion

by Rose Marie Berger, by Mark Betz 01-01-2005

U.S. Border Patrol agents recovered a life-size statue of the crucified Christ, without his cross, washed up on a sandbar in the Rio Grande.

The Sense of Touch

by Rose Marie Berger 01-01-2005
In Jesus' life, touch was vibrantly political.

Nonviolence in Najaf?

by Rose Marie Berger 11-01-2004
Will we recognize an Islamic peace movement when we see it?