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 Neighborhood. She 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:
- Pursuing the Secret of Joy: What is joy when it's not promiscuously tied to happiness, Hallmark, or hedonism?
- Why Our Faith Delegation went to Ukraine?: Our public message was simple: “We have come to Kyiv in solidarity to pray for a just peace.”
- Nonviolence in Najaf?: Will we recognize an Islamic peace movement when we see it?
- Of Love's Risen Body: The poetry of Denise Levertov, 1923-1997
- Glimpses of God Outside the Temple: The spiritual vision of Vincent Van Gogh, Georgia O'Keefe, and Andy Warhol.
- Damnation Will Not Be Televised: Almost everything I know about hell I learned from watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Christian nonviolence, peace, war
- Catholic Nonviolence Initiative
- Climate change, creation care, watershed discipleship
- Bible study, liturgical year
- Spirituality and social justice
- Any topic covered in Sojourners magazine
- Preference for virtual events, but willing to discuss in-person events on case-by-case basis
Posts By This Author
Nike now lets you personalize your shoes by submitting a word or phrase the company will stitch beneath the swoosh.
Can You Say "Counterinsurgency"?
In November 2000, Congress passed "Plan Colombia," a $1.3 billion plan to fight cocaine production in Colombia.
T'cha From the Old School
Kris Parker, better known as hip-hop legend KRS-One (which stands for Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone), left his job at Warner Bros.
Sex in the City (and the suburbs)
There is a new ad campaign hitting the national media called "Sex Has Consequences."
Eight Pretty Bad Corporations
Aventis CropScience. Put genetically altered and EPA unapproved "Star Link" corn in Taco Bell brand taco shells; at least 44 people became ill.
Computers are the key to the future. Or not.
"Computer science is the best instrument of history to release man's creativity...
Hours after the Scottish Royal Navy announced that its fourth Trident nuclear-armed submarinethe HMS Vengeancehad entered service, 373 protesters were arrested in the largest-ever dem
Operator? Get Me Jesus On the Line
The first-ever sacred pre-paid phone card series is available from Siesta Telecom Inc.
"Uncharted Waters" is a new Mars Hill Audio report exploring the social, economic, and moral costs of casino gambling on the small town of Tunica, Mississippi.
During the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, the Swiss border patrol prevented Naomi Klein's anti-corporate bestseller No Logo from entering the country. Apparently those little ca
Alternative Trade Routes
Want to learn about trade laws for small businesses in Tanzania? Or buy lovely handcrafted mugs for your church volunteers?
Attitudes and Latitudes
Poll by the Program on International Policy Attitudes
April 23-29 is national "Turn off Your TV" week. Coincidentally, it is also "Roll Back the Rug and Teach the Kids the Electric Slide" week.
Can't Buy Me Love
54 percent of global billionaires are in the United States
A Crack in the Glass Ceiling
The Church of Pakistan has ordained its first two women deacons, despite civil court action by a breakaway church that believes the Bible bans women from the clergy.
The YouthPeace organizing packet has graphics, media information, literature lists, and training, workshop, and organizing ideas for local youth activists.
A Righteous Light
Jennifer Harbury's eight-year fight for justice in the death of her husband, Guatemalan resistance leader Efrain Bamaca Velasquez, has ended in victory.
What do you get for a planet that has everything?
The Alliance of Religions and Conservation and the World Wildlife Fund brought together 11 major faiths-representing some 4 billion people-to ask that very question.
Unless the Lord Builds the House
Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church's new building demonstrates how architecture can incarnate the history, strength, and spirit of a people.