Senior Editor, Sojourners magazine
Photo: Brandon Hook / Sojourners

Invite Rose to Speak

Rose, a native of the West Coast, lives in Washington, D.C. She has been on Sojourners staff since 1986.

For more than 30 years, Rose has rooted herself with Sojourners magazine and ministry. 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 Neighborhood.

A native of the West Coast, Rose has lived in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C. since the mid-1980s. In the course of a 30 plus-year career in faith-based activism, advocacy journalism, and pastoral leadership, she has proven to be a skilled organizer, exceptional writer, visionary pastoral leader, and innovative teacher of biblical literacy.

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 Associate Editor of Sojourners magazine, where she writes a regular column on spirituality and justice. She is responsible for the Living the Word section, poetry, Bible studies, and interviews – and oversees the production of study guides, discussion guides, and the online bible study Preaching the Word. She is also 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.

Rose has a veteran history in social justice activism, including: 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.

A founding member of a small creative writing group, 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 senior editor and poetry editor for Sojourners magazine.

She has traveled throughout the United States, and also in 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’s articles include:

She lives in the Southern Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C., in the Anacostia watershed on traditional Piscataway lands.

Posts By This Author

Sagebrush Solutions

In Colorado, ranchers and environmentalists are collaborating in a common cause—protecting water rights and sustainable land use.

Catholic Scandal, Ecumenical Solution

by Rose Marie Berger 07-01-2002
The whole church must combat sexual misconduct.

While much recent media hype has focused on the Catholic Church's pedophilia scandal, relatively little attention has been given to the high rate of sexual misconduct in the rest of American Christendom. This truly is a crisis that crosses all borders.

For example, research by Richard Blackmon at Fuller Theological Seminary shows that 12 percent of the 300 Protestant clergy surveyed admitted to sexual intercourse with a parishioner; 38 percent acknowledged other inappropriate sexualized contact. In a 1990 study by the United Methodist Church, 41.8 percent of clergy women reported unwanted sexual behavior by a colleague or pastor; 17 percent of laywomen said that their own pastors had sexually harassed them.

Obviously, this is not just a Catholic problem. And solutions must be broader and deeper than those carried out by Catholic cardinals. The whole church has a responsibility to offer decisive leadership in the area of sexual misconduct—whether it is child abuse, sexual exploitation, or sexual harassment.

Recently, churches have shown unprecedented unity on issues of poverty and welfare reform. Now it is necessary to call for a broad-based ecumenical council addressing the issue of sexual misconduct in the church. Its goal would be transparency and openness in developing stringent, forward-looking guidelines, consistent with denominational distinctions, for preventing and addressing sexual misconduct within Christian churches and church-related institutions. Such a council could include not only denominational representatives but also a majority presence from external organizations such as child protection agencies, law enforcement, psychiatric services, victims' agencies, and legal and legislative representatives.

Getting Rid of the Rigs

Tapping the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil—which Congress forestalled—would hardly make a dent in the 8-million-barrel-a-day foreign oil addiction of the United States.

Bread Not Bombs

International relief organizations in Kabul are employing 3,500 women bakers to ensure that more than a quarter of a million Afghan school children are fed during the school year.

A Script of Her Own

New Moon: The Magazine for Girls and Their Dreams is turning Hollywood inside out by challenging the film industry's harmful depictions of women and girls...

Cold Comfort

First he took off his hat and coat; then his sweater and shirt.

Down on Double Deuces

The Christian Coalition of Georgia, along with Peace State Methodist and Baptist churches, are in a pitched battle to close down the state's video poker machines.

Lust in Las Vegas

There has always been crossover from Saturday night to Sunday morning, but a Christian porn site?

Building Dreams

by Rose Marie Berger 05-01-2002

Architecture students at Alabama's Rural Studio raise shelters for the spirit.

Resources: Building Supplies

From a Maine potato farmer to a Hawaiian banana producer, The New American Farmer profiles farms and farmers across the United States...

Managing the Erotic Life

by Rose Marie Berger 05-01-2002

In Boston, more Catholic priests made the news as serial pedophiles. In California, two pastors got 4 million hits in a week on their Web site for people addicted to pornography.

On the Road to Emmaus

by Rose Marie Berger 05-01-2002

I once met a woman who—
in a frenzy of wild praise
and to fight the devil—ate glass.

Yellow Light on Green Travel

Since no one wants to be Chevy Chase in the National Lampoon's Vacation series, it has become hip to be an ecotourist

Peaceable Kingdom Sighted

In our ongoing coverage of the bovine peace movement: Reuters radio revealed that ambassadorial cows are crossing the highly militarized border between Eritrea and Ethiopia.

9-11 Relatives Visit Afghanistan

Family members of Sept. 11 victims traveled to Afghanistan last January to meet their counterparts—families who were the victims of U.S. bombings.

Kids and Sex

Teen pregnancy, abortion, and birth rates have declined in the United States since 1991. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy lists 10 rules for effective sex education programs.

Just Do It.

Friedensdorf, the international peace village in Germany, brought 8-year-old Mohammad Rahim and 30 other children from Kabul, Afghanistan, to Dusseldorf, Germany, last December for medical treatment.

Israel's Defense Forces: "No More"

More than 320 members of the Israeli Defense Forces have signed a pledge refusing "to dominate, expel, starve and humiliate an entire people" through "missions of occupation and oppression..."

News Bites

Little Mud Hut. Caritas International is building 425 adobe homes for Afghan refugees. Construction materials are mainly local clay and water.

Good Neighbors

The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Southern California has launched a billboard public awareness campaign promoting good will between Muslims and their neighbors.