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

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.

Good Drug Smugglers?

The French agency Doctors Without Borders and the South African AIDS activist group Treatment Action Campaign are smuggling cheaper generic versions of three anti-retroviral AIDS drugs...

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Ten U.S. soldiers from Fort Huachuca, Arizona, have been charged in a $3 million drug-running scheme...

Worth Noting

by Rose Marie Berger 03-01-2002

In light of the 9-11 wars, people worldwide are digging more deeply into the study of applied nonviolence.

First, They Kill the Lawyers

The election last year of President Vicente Fox and Chiapas Gov. Pablo Salazar brought hope to Mexico's indigenous population...

Resources: Building Supplies

The Catholic Worker Cooperative Bakery in Guadalupe, California, offers fresh, handmade communion bread and hosts, with 100 percent organic whole-wheat flour.

News Bites

Where's Mel? Lethal Weapon movie star and death penalty abolitionist Danny Glover, below, addressed students at Princeton University last fall.

Fun With Facts

In Chiapas, Mexico, farmers are getting 25 cents per pound for their coffee crop. Starbucks' specialty grind is sold for $14.95 per pound.