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

Good Shipping News

by Rose Marie Berger, by 09-01-2003

Harbor City Services Inc.

Yeast of the Kingdom?

by Rose Marie Berger, by 09-01-2003

Cistercian monks in southern Poland hope to become the country's first distributors of an ale brewed from a 17th century recipe.

Shoes of the Fisherman?

by Rose Marie Berger, by 09-01-2003

This spring Europe was rocked by a religious fashion war when the Danish superstore Kvickly started selling flip-flop sandals featuring images of Jesus and Mary.

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...

How Does Your Company Measure Up?

by Rose Marie Berger, by 09-01-2003

How Does Your Company Measure Up?

News Bites

by Rose Marie Berger, by 09-01-2003

Boss Man.

Open Season on Activists?

by Rose Marie Berger, by 09-01-2003

Standing for peace in a war zone is never easy, but it's becoming next to impossible for Middle East human rights groups.

Building Supplies

by Rose Marie Berger, by 09-01-2003

Planning a stint in the federal pen? Don't leave home without Clare Hanrahan's Jailed for Justice: A Woman's Guide to Federal Prison Camp.

Children Lead - Who Follows?

by Rose Marie Berger, by 09-01-2003

In Nairobi, 700 children walked out of school and through the streets this April, calling for an end to their country's debt burden.

God vs. General Mills

by Rose Marie Berger, by 07-01-2003

Tom Ciola, creator of the Bible Bar and a host of spiritual snack foods at Logia Foods, just released his newest treat: Bible Granola.

Acting Out

by Rose Marie Berger 07-01-2003

The Motor City may never lack for drama, but until the Mosaic Youth Theatre came along there were few opportunities for young people to express themselves on stage.

Getting Our Gaze Back

by Rose Marie Berger 07-01-2003
Is daydreaming a dose of self-medication in a data-processed world?

Churches Push Amnesty Project

by Rose Marie Berger, by 07-01-2003

A coalition of Latino religious leaders from 17 states is fighting for amnesty for thousands of undocumented workers in the United States.

Resources

by Rose Marie Berger, by 07-01-2003
Building Supplies

Can You Hear Me Now?

by Rose Marie Berger, by 07-01-2003

As if there weren't enough reasons to get rid of your cell phone, a new study from the Worldwatch Institute reports that coltan—the mineral that keeps cell phones and other electronic eq

Not Following Orders

by Rose Marie Berger, by 07-01-2003

Lance Corporal Stephen Eagle Funk, 20, (second from left) turns himself in at his Marine Corps reserve unit after refusing to serve in the Iraq war.

News Bites

by Rose Marie Berger, by 07-01-2003

Labor Rites.

Boycotting World Bank Bonds

by Rose Marie Berger, by 07-01-2003

Following a two-year organizing drive by students and faculty at the University of New Mexico, the university became the first in the United States to adopt a policy against investment in World Bank bonds.

Who Controls the Spigot?

by Rose Marie Berger 07-01-2003

Private companies are slurping up public water at an alarming rate.

Character Counts. (Who Knew?)

by Rose Marie Berger, by 07-01-2003

Arguing that "character counts," the United Church of Christ is pressuring all 50 state public utility commissioners to investigate WorldCom and revoke its local licenses...