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

'All Our Children' Not A Soap

by Rose Marie Berger, by 03-01-2003
'All Our Children' Not A Soap

Exorcise That!

by Rose Marie Berger, by 03-01-2003

Last November, 12 clergy in full regalia—accompanied by acolytes with candles, crosses, holy water, and faith—processed to the federal building in Portland, Oregon...

Pro-Life, Not Execution

by Rose Marie Berger 03-01-2003

Gov. George Ryan cleared Illinois' death row in January when he commuted 171 condemned inmates' sentences...

The Little Train That Wouldn't

by Rose Marie Berger, by 03-01-2003

To protest Prime Minister Tony Blair's threat to attack Iraq, two U.K. train drivers refused in January to move a freight train carrying ammunition

Hyperventilating for the Lord

by Rose Marie Berger, by 03-01-2003

Critics who insist the church is full of hot air finally have their proof: British entrepreneur Mike Gill has introduced the world's first (and hopefully last) inflatable church.

Best Practices: Changing Clothes

by Rose Marie Berger, by 03-01-2003

No Sweat apparel has a strict dress code: union-made only.

Demolition Democracy

by Rose Marie Berger, by 03-01-2003

Recently the Associated Press identified some of the fundamental changes to Americans' legal rights by the Bush administration through the USA Patriot Act and the Office of Homeland Security:

First Martyr Mourned

by Rose Marie Berger, by 03-01-2003

George Weber, 73, of Chesley, Ontario, was killed in a motor accident on January 6 while traveling with a Christian Peacemaker Team delegation north of Basrah, Iraq.

Are You a Terrorist, Too?

by Rose Marie Berger, by 03-01-2003

Sister Antonia Anthony is a 74-year-old Franciscan nun who raises funds for the poor of southern Mexico.

Being John the Baptist

by Rose Marie Berger 03-01-2003

What follows is an imprecise, and likely inaccurate, interpretation of the prologue to the gospel of Mark.

Corporations That Need A Clean-Up

by Rose Marie Berger, by 03-01-2003

Last year corporations took it on the chin when it came to financial scandal.

News Bites

by Rose Marie Berger, by 03-01-2003

Saints' Daze. A few days before Christmas, Pope John Paul II beatified Mother Teresa, elevating her to the rank just below sainthood.

Speaking a Holy Word

by Rose Marie Berger 01-01-2003
As Christians, how do we live in times like these?

Who Answers at 2-1-1?

by Rose Marie Berger, by 01-01-2003

Who do you call when the marshals have tossed all your belongings on the sidewalk and you need a place to spend the night?

Real Product: Holy Trinity 3-Pak

by Rose Marie Berger, by 01-01-2003

For the first time, you can possess your very own Holy Trinity 3-pak, featuring hand-carved God hair, a glow-in-the-dark Holy Spirit, and LEGO Jesus.

Killing Our Own

by Rose Marie Berger, by 01-01-2003

A 2001 U.S. Army Audit Agency report revealed that U.S. armed forces are unprepared for encountering chemical and biological weapons.

Who Owns Your Water?

by Rose Marie Berger 01-01-2003

Around the world publicly owned, government-run water utilities are being sold off to for-profit companies.

Stopping by a Red Light on a Weekday Evening

by Rose Marie Berger 01-01-2003

At the corner of 14th and Euclid Streets NW in Washington, D.C., many evenings at sunset, the Domino's deliveryman kneels down to pray.

Faith on the Barrelhead

by Rose Marie Berger, by 01-01-2003

Americans are keeping the faith today in many different ways—including how they invest.

Evangelical, Not Zionist

by Rose Marie Berger, by 01-01-2003

Forty-three prominent evangelical leaders sent a letter to President Bush indicating that the Christian Right's uncritical support of Israel is not the position of all American evangelicals.