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

1,000 Words

Children in Putumayo, Colombia, painted this "before and after" mural of what U.S.-sponsored aerial fumigation has done to their homeland.

Re-Education Camp

In Auburn, Alabama, two all-white fraternities wore blackface and Ku Klux Klan robes to Halloween parties; some even simulated a lynching. Both frats have been suspended.

Cows for Peace

Heifer International came up with a unique solution to a sticky problem. In the 1997 Albanian civil war, more than 500,000 weapons were stolen from military depots.

The Families That Roared

Did you see the recent Essence article about Dorothy Gaines? Or the Mademoiselle piece on Kellie Mann? Both women were convicted of minor nonviolent drug offenses.

Can I Get an 'Amen'!

by Rose Marie Berger 03-01-2002

Rev. Billy may not be a reverend, but he's got some good news to tell.

Black Hawk Move Over

by Rose Marie Berger 03-01-2002

Picture the scene.

Pursuing the Secret of Joy

by Rose Marie Berger 03-01-2002

Comparing Hasidic and Christian spirituality, a rabbi once said, "There is no joy in Christianity."

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.

Your Tax Dollars at Work

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

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.

Resources: Building Supplies

Born out of the experience of a New York State Labor-Religion Coalition delegation to Mexico, Border Witness: Youth Confront NAFTA chronicles the experience of New Yor

Real World?

Recently, Turkish TV launched the hottest new program in virtual voyeurism: Who can survive on the country’s minimum wage?

How About Your Backyard?

After years of sustained international protests against live-fire training exercises on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, the U.S. Navy is looking elsewhere to play its war games.

Heads or Tails…

Tennessee, Hawaii, and Utah are the only states that have no legalized gambling or lotteries.

Aftershocks of the Attacks

"It’s heartbreaking to see how quickly this happened and how much people are already hurting," says Rev. Alexia Salvatierra

Pharaoh Factor

Need a controlled biblical experience? Check out the new "plaguedomes." With a quick swish of your wrist you can stir up a ravenous horde of locusts.

News Bites

God Talk. Time magazine has named Stanley Hauerwas, a United Methodist professor at Duke University in North Carolina, "America’s Best Theologian."

The Silence of Cain

by Rose Marie Berger 01-01-2002
Are we cannon fodder in a cosmic war of good and evil?

If These Walls Could Talk

Karmen is an animated building whose mission is to harbor peace within her dilapidated walls.

How much does "free" trade REALLY cost?

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) turns 8 in January 2002. Congress is now considering a hemispheric expansion in the form of the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas.