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

News Bites

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.

Building Supplies

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.

Peace Prize or Gas Chamber

Convicted murderer and gang leader Stanley "Tookie" Williams has been nominated for the 2001 Nobel Prize for Peace.

Let Them Eat Grapes

The United Farm Workers union has called off its 16-year boycott of California table grapes, citing recent organizing and contract victories as the reason.

Cuppa Joy?

John Sage is low-key in approach and evangelistic in mission: Save the world through coffee. Can't be done, you say?

Volumes of Inspiration

by Rose Marie Berger, by Molly Marsh 03-01-2001

Spiritual Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups on the Twelve Spiritual Disciplines, edited by Richard Foster.

Unless the Lord Builds the House

by Rose Marie Berger 03-01-2001

Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church's new building demonstrates how architecture can incarnate the history, strength, and spirit of a people.

You want salsa with that Mujerista?

Mujerista may not be a familiar term yet, but theologians and others are starting to pay more attention to the voices of Latinas in this country and elsewhere

Don't Mess with Texas

Nothing talks like money.

News Bites

Last September's primary elections finally put an African American in Selma, Alabama's city hall—a first for the city.

 

Peace Talks at SOA

While 10,000 protestors gathered outside the gates of the U.S.

Building Supplies

Resources for study and action

Tinseltown Loses Its Pastor

Paulist priest and movie producer Ellwood "Bud" Kieser, known as the Father of Hollywood, died September 16. He was 71.

No Comment

"To serve the 250 grams of beluga caviar it sells for $139, [Neiman Marcus] offers a $1,500...silver-plated bowl ‘supported,' according to the catalog, ‘by a base of graceful sturgeons.'"

In Memory of Her

"Whatever the turmoil, whatever the divisions among humankind, whatever the violence, the followers of Jesus can refuse to be moved from his transcendent message of peace.

The Grim Sweeper

Making caskets is fine. But who's going to clean up this mess? Inside their light, fragrant workshop, a handful of monks are hard at work. They're planing. They're ripping.