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

Life in the Balance

by Rose Marie Berger, by Brian Bolton 06-01-2004

Five young women—survivors of child and youth sex trafficking in New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis, and San Francisco—came to Washington, D.C., this winter to share their stories and discuss solutions to a problem that affects an estimated 300,000 youth in the United States annually.

Shareholder Values

by Rose Marie Berger, by Brian Bolton 06-01-2004
Shareholder Values

Faith is influencing the actions of shareholders, according to a February 2004 report by the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility. "ICCR members are at the forefront of the social and environmental shareholder movement," said ICCR Executive Director Pat Wolf.

No Nukes is Good Nukes

by Rose Marie Berger, by Brian Bolton 06-01-2004
House and Senate conferees amended fiscal 2004 energy and defense authorization bills to reduce funding for research on nuclear

House and Senate conferees amended fiscal 2004 energy and defense authorization bills to reduce funding for research on nuclear weapons such as the "bunker buster," to create

Hereafter Glow

by Rose Marie Berger, by Brian Bolton 06-01-2004
The mayor of Fall River,

The mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts, sits in the hot seat each year at an accountability meeting of Catholic, mainline Protestant, and Jewish congregations called the United Interfaith Action of Southeastern Massachusetts to answer questions about past and future policies. Though he dislikes the format, Mayor Ed

News Bites

by Rose Marie Berger, by Brian Bolton 06-01-2004
Me.

Me. Me. "[The apostle] Paul says we’re supposed to ‘die to ourselves’ —and I’m paying a publicist $3,000 a month to make sure everybody knows who I am?" said "Everybody Loves Raymond" star Patricia Heaton in People magazine.

Families Valued

by Rose Marie Berger, by Brian Bolton 06-01-2004
Rabiye Kurnaz (

Rabiye Kurnaz (center), mother of German Guantanamo Bay detainee Murat Kurnaz, came to Washington, D.C., in March to join British and French families of detainees who shared stories of anguish over the treatment of their relatives. "Can the U.S. government legitimately claim that the continuing

Churches Close Accountability Gap

by Rose Marie Berger, by Brian Bolton 06-01-2004
The mayor of Fall River,

The mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts, sits in the hot seat each year at an accountability meeting of Catholic, mainline Protestant, and Jewish congregations called the United Interfaith Action of Southeastern Massachusetts to answer questions about past and future policies. Though he dislikes the format, Mayor Ed

Falling and Rising

by Rose Marie Berger 06-01-2004
Jesus was not "cured of death." He kept fidelity with life.

Cradle of Life

by Rose Marie Berger, by Brian Bolton 05-01-2004
With 35,

With 35,000 churches and monasteries and 500,000 clergy in Ethiopia, the Orthodox Church is poised to send messages into the most remote parts of that country to prevent HIV and to fund ministries to treat the infected. The International Orthodox Christian Charities, the humanitarian aid agency of Orthodox

No Mas

by Rose Marie Berger, by Brian Bolton 05-01-2004
Venezuelan Vice President José Vicente Rangel (

Venezuelan Vice President José Vicente Rangel (left), in a meeting with religious representatives from the United States, took up the delegation’s proposal that Venezuela stop sending soldiers to the School of the Americas (renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) at Ft.

Raising Lazarus in South Dakota

by Rose Marie Berger, by Brian Bolton 05-01-2004
In the diocese of Rapid City,

In the diocese of Rapid City, South Dakota, a group of Catholic priests decided to take action on behalf of both the victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse in the church. About 30 active and retired priests created an independent nonprofit called the Lazarus Fund, to which they are donating 5 percent of

A Presidential Option for the Poor?

by Rose Marie Berger 05-01-2004

Venezuela's Hugo Chavez stirs up fierce criticism - and hope.

Gody Sanchez' Vision From God

by Rose Marie Berger 05-01-2004

Can we talk about leaf blowers?

A Dream Still Deferred

by Rose Marie Berger, by Brian Bolton 05-01-2004
Untitled Normal Page

"State of the Dream 2004: Enduring Disparities in Black and White," released in January by United for a Fair Economy, catalogues the continuing and, in some cases, worsening gaps of income, wealth, poverty, health, housing, education, and imprisonment among African-American and white populations in the

News Bites

by Rose Marie Berger, by Brian Bolton 05-01-2004
EuroVision.

EuroVision.

Seven European businesses—MTV Europe, National Grid Transco, ABB, Barclays, Novartis, The Body Shop International, and Novo Nordisk—have agreed to comply with U.N. principles on human rights. The norms had previously only been applied to countries, not corporations.

We Wrote It

by Rose Marie Berger 05-01-2004
Venezuela's constitution is more than a political document.

Sweeping Up Corruption

by Rose Marie Berger, by Brian Bolton 05-01-2004
Protesters converged on Managua in February with brooms in hand to "

Protesters converged on Managua in February with brooms in hand to "sweep out" corrupt public officials. Organized by CEPAD, the Nicaraguan Council of Protestant Churches, thousands marched to municipal offices and courts to present

Trading Spaces

by Rose Marie Berger, by Brian Bolton 05-01-2004
More than 100 church and grassroots organizations from the United States,

More than 100 church and grassroots organizations from the United States, Canada, and Mexico met in New York in January to discuss international financial institutions and trade and investment treaties that affect the poor in North America.

Where in the World is Mumbai?

by Rose Marie Berger, by Brian Bolton 04-01-2004

Nearly 100,000 people from around the world - including these activists from India - descended on Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India, in January for the World Social Forum

News Bites

by Rose Marie Berger, by Brian Bolton 04-01-2004

It's On Me. Canada has cancelled the $750 million debt owed it by Iraq to help put the war-torn country on a "better foundation" for economic development.