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

Obey the Signs

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

More than 30 billboards with the slogan "Peace is Patriotic" have gone up nationwide. 

Trickle Up Economics

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

Trickle Up Economics

Magnificent Desolation, Agonizing Love

by Rose Marie Berger 01-01-2004
I need an incarnation more powerful than the hell of the daily headlines.

Anglican Anguish

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

Leaders of the world’s 77 million Anglicans met in London

No Fly Zone

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

Twenty-seven military pilots, former pilots, and air crew sent a petition to the commander of the Israeli Air Force in September saying they will not participate in attack missions...

Evangelical Liberationists

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

More than 185 evangelical leaders from 50 countries met in Queretaro, Mexico, in September to examine the impact of the globalized economy on the poor. 

Barring Prison Rape

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

The federal government now officially recognizes prison rape as a problem.

The Burden of Truth

by Jim Rice, by Rose Marie Berger 11-01-2003

Two former CIA analysts talk about the lies behind the Iraq war and the heavy weight of conscience.

Damnation Will Not Be Televised

by Rose Marie Berger 11-01-2003
Almost everything I know about hell, I learned from watching Buffy.
Image: Scorpions and Centaurs / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Image: Scorpions and Centaurs / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

"Do you believe in hell?" a friend asked.

The Burden of Truth: Full Transcript

by Jim Rice, by Rose Marie Berger 11-01-2003

Web Exclusive! Full transcript of interviews with former CIA analysts.

Blue Nuns Go Green

by Rose Marie Berger, by 11-01-2003

Nicknamed the "Blue Nuns" for the blue habits they used to wear, the Catholic sisters of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary have renovated their motherhouse and campus...

Churches Protest Rios Montt

by Rose Marie Berger, by 11-01-2003

The Conference of Evangelical Churches of Guatemala vigorously protested a ruling by the Guatemalan Constitutional Court

This Land is Our Land

by Rose Marie Berger, by 11-01-2003

The land is God's gift to everyone," affirmed leaders from Latin American and U.S. churches in a statement supporting Brazil's Landless Workers Movement.

No Women? No Aid

by Rose Marie Berger, by 11-01-2003

Church organizations in Malawi supported by Norwegian and Danish Church Aid have been told to "vigorously" advocate gender and human rights issues. 

Youth For Sale

by Rose Marie Berger, by 11-01-2003

The sex trade is often seen as an industry that plagues remote developing countries, but a Washington, D.C. conference in July broke that stereotype

Bush-Whacked

by Rose Marie Berger, by 11-01-2003

President Bush completed a five-day, five-nation tour of Africa this summer, promising those he met that they are not alone in their fight against AIDS.

Can I Get That in Forest Green?

by Rose Marie Berger, by 11-01-2003

Tired of the clear-cut lumber you get at Home Depot and Lowe's? The Canadian Eco-Lumber Co-op lets you feel good about your wood.

Reality Refugees

by Rose Marie Berger, by 09-01-2003

In April, Saskatchewan's Rosthern Junior College sponsored "In Exile...For A While," a new youth immersion program launched by the Mennonite Central Committee...

Seventh Heaven?

by Rose Marie Berger, by 09-01-2003

A new report from the University of North Carolina's National Study of Youth and Religion confirms the old saw: A family that prays together, stays together.

News Bites

by Rose Marie Berger, by 09-01-2003

Boss Man.