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

Federally Funded Grassroots?

by Rose Marie Berger, by 01-01-2003

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Compassion Capital Fund released in October the first federal funds specifically targeted to assist faith-based and community organizations.

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.

Dams Away!

by Rose Marie Berger, by 01-01-2003

The RAND corporation, one of the earliest U.S. military think tanks, released a report on the implications of using alternative power-generation technologies...

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.

Touched by Peace

by Rose Marie Berger, by 01-01-2003

Jesuit Father Richard T. McSorley, 88, a retired professor of peace studies at Georgetown University and longtime peace and social justice activist, died October 17, 2002.

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.

Slavery sucks

by Rose Marie Berger, by 01-01-2003

President Bush finally signed the Sudan Peace Act in October to pressure the Sudanese government to end that nation's 19-year civil war...

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.

The Story of the Lummi Totem Pole

There's more to the Lummi totem pole than meets the eye. At a time when Americans asked themselves "What can I do?" in response to the Sept.

Long Train Runnin'

by Rose Marie Berger 11-01-2002

'The work isn't over until we close our eyes and die.'

Suit Up for Salvation

Wondering what to wear to the next Bible study or church potluck? Need high visibility clothing for jogging at night?

Pillaging the Populace

Western Pennsylvania's Citizens Budget Campaign met last spring with the Pittsburgh City Council to discuss the impact of the 2003 federal budget on their city.

Resources

Building Supplies

Digging up Franco's Bones

by Rose Marie Berger 11-01-2002

Is breaking the silence always a good thing?

Who's Using Charitable Choice Funding, and How?

This spring, the Survey Research Center at the University of Akron surveyed 587 leaders of faith-based organizations with government contracts under federal programs...

Newsbites

Waste Not.

David, Goliath, and Uncle Sam

Colombia's U'wa indigenous group, numbering only 5,000, feared for their survival when U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum began plans nearly a decade ago to drill on their lands.

Confirmation Cards with Kickback

Pittsburgh: A City Has Its Limits