Rose Marie Berger speaks frequently on the relationships between faith, art and activism. In her talks, she invites audiences to consider how their faith is enriched by the arts, how daily life in their neighborhoods and cities influences their faith, and how personal faith fuels activism for the common good. She is noted for her “bible-busting” ability, opening up scripture in fresh and engaging ways.
Rose brings her vocation as a poet and her more than two decades of Christian social justice work to her presentations. Lively and interactive, Rose’s workshops and lectures incorporate visual art, music and lots of dialogue.
To invite Rose to speak at your school, church, group, or event, email rbergersol at gmail dot com.
1 May 2019 @ 6:30p. First public poetry reading with Rose Berger from her new collection, Bending the Arch, poems addressing family history, settler colonialism and climate collapse. The Potter’s House Café and Bookstore (1658 Columbia Road NW, DC, 20009). Books will be available for purchase on site or purchase ahead of time from publisher and bring it for Rose to sign.
28 June 2019, 1:45p (PST), plenary address at International Thomas Merton Society 16th General Meeting at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif.
4-5 April 2019, Rose will be present at a 2-day event on “Experience of Violence – Path of Nonviolence – Towards a Culture of peace” hosted by Pax Christi International in collaboration with the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development of the Holy See in the Conference Hall of the Dicastery (Palazzo San Calisto, Rome, Italy). This event is part of the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative process.
23 March 2019, 4:30-6:30p, at the home of Margaret Mattinson and Vasu Mohan, a celebration of Nawruz, the Bahai new year, with poetry readings from Hafez and Bending the Arch.
9 March 2019, 6:30-8:30p, at the home of Judy Coode, a Bending the Arch:Poems book launch party
26 October 2018, 10:45a – 12:15p, “Faith-Inspired Nonviolent Action Toward Just Peace,” a panel discussion at the Alliance for Peacebuilding’s PEACECON 2018 in Washington, D.C. Faith-inspired nonviolent actors and secular nonviolent actors can both learn important lessons from each
other and improve collaboration in significant ways. A deeper understanding is needed among faith-inspired and secular actors about the significance of cultivating beliefs, values, spiritual disciplines, and virtuous habits related to nonviolence and nonviolent conflict, as well as more clarity about the practical potential for impact when the structures and networks of faith-based communities are engaged in the work for peace. At the same time, a deeper understanding is needed among faith-inspired actors about strategic nonviolent conflict and institution building. Speakers include: Steve Chase, Manager of Academic Initiatives, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict; Rose Berger, Senior Associate Editor, Sojourners Magazine; Sarah Thompson, 2018 Generations Fellow, Martin Luther King, Jr. Center; Rev. Canice Chinyeaka Enyiaka, PhD Candidate of Development Studies and Public Policy, Howard
University, African Studies and Research Department; Marie Dennis, Co-President, Pax Christi International.
21 April 2018, 3:30-5p, “Poetry of Praise: Reclaiming Religion and Spirituality for the Resistance (Reading)” at Charles Sumner School Museum & Archives “Memorial Hall” (1201 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20036). Presenters: Ayari Aguayo-Ceribo, Kazim Ali, Rose Berger, Sunu P. Chandy, Temim Fruchter, Letta Neely, Marie Varghese. Part of Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2018.
In this reading and workshop, poets will share writing from varied religious, spiritual, and cultural backgrounds to reclaim religion and find sustenance, healing, and holiness in faith practices and communities. In this time where religion is being used to institute regressive policies, we amplify the good that is inspired by religion, discuss how spiritual practices are vital to many of us who identify as part of the resistance, and highlight how religious practice has historically served this purpose. This session explores the connections between poetry and prayer, between faith and sharing our truths, liberation theology, and the idea of Infinite Sustenance. Together, we will consider how we all harbor holiness, how the Divine and faith enter our work and our poetry, how queer identities find spaces within religious communities, and how racism impacts faith communities. For the workshop, we will share writing prompts and exercises with participants and interact with them and their writing as guides.
5 April 2018, 3-6 p.m., Rose Marie Berger will teach at Georgetown University as part of Jim Wallis’ course “Faith, Race, and Politics” in the Public Policy department.
16 March 2018, at 12 noon at Lafayette Park, in front of the White House Rose Berger will read her poem “An Outline for a Service Acknowledging War Crimes” at the My Lai: Never Again Prayer Vigil, part of Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee events.
19-23 February 2018, Bartimaeus Kinsler Institute hosted by Ched Myers and Elaine Enns, in Oak View, Calif. Rose will offer worship leadership, a presentation on “The Trump List” after year one, and a workshop on Catholic Nonviolence Initiative.
2 February 2018, 6 p.m. the Jerry S. Parr Lecture at The Festival Center (1640 Columbia Rd. NW, Washington, DC). Rose Marie Berger, senior associate editor at Sojourners, Catholic poet, and peace activist will present on “Game Changer”: What if 1.2 billion Catholics embraced gospel nonviolence? A look behind the scenes at one of the most historic changes in church history—moving beyond the 1,500-year-old just war tradition. In January, Pope Francis issued his letter “Nonviolence: A style of politics for peace.” In November, he categorically condemned the possession of nuclear weapons, a change of 50 years of Catholic tolerance of nuclear deterrence. In December, San Diego’s Bishop McElroy said, “the traditional norms of just war … increasingly appear to be incapable of effectively constraining violence in the modern world. The power of non-violence, once relegated to the category of romantic idealism, has emerged as a potent force for social transformation and the building of lasting peace.” What will happen next? And why is this good news for the Body of Christ around the world?
8-10 December 2017, Rose Berger and Marie Dennis will lead the Advent Retreat hosted by Mary’s House Catholic Worker in Birmingham, Ala., on the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative.
11 November 2017, 5p -8:30p. Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore has named Rose Berger and Gerry Lee, Director, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns as their Peacemakers of the Year. They will be honored on Saturday, November 11 at Holy Redeemer Church in Washington, DC, 5 p.m. Mass and the Peacemaker of the Year Award Dinner from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Space is limited to 200 people. Your donation of $25 for adults and $10 for students includes a buffet meal. Please pre-register with your donation online or by mail no later than Nov. 6. Full details here.
25 June 2017 at 8:00a and 10:30a services, Rose will preach at St. Stephen’s and the Incarnation Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C. (1525 Newton Street NW)
9 June 2017 at 7:00p the Holy Fool Theater and Potter’s House present “Wade Through Deep Water “an evening of ceremonial theater about water and collective liberation (doors at 6:30 p.m.) at the Festival Center (1640 Columbia Road NW). This will also be a celebration of the book Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith and Practice, edited by Ched Myers and with a poem, “Prophecies from the Watershed Confederacy,” by Rose Berger. You’ll be able to the buy the book at the event tonight and get it signed by some of the contributors. Everyone is welcome to this event, with tickets on a sliding scale, from $0-$50.
1 April 2017 at 8:30a – Noon. “WALKING INTO THE FUTURE WITH JESUS, MARTIN, & FRANCIS.” Location: Friends Meetinghouse (Dupont Circle 2111 Florida Ave. NW, Washington, DC).
As the Trump presidency unfolds, panelists Terrence Rynne, Lisa Sharon Harper, and Rose Marie Berger will situate this historical moment in the context of Jesus’ radical Gospel Nonviolence, the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech, and our hope for renewal in the church and the world.
Rose Marie Berger, Senior Associate Editor at Sojourners, has rooted herself with Sojourners magazine (sojo.net) and ministry for more than 30 years. She is currently active in the Catholic Nonviolence Initiative, which formed in 2016 following a landmark April meeting in Rome on Catholics and Nonviolence (nonviolencejustpeace.net). Terrence J. Rynne is Professor of Peace Studies at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, where he founded the University’s Center for Peacemaking. Lisa Sharon Harper is Chief Church Engagement Officer at Sojourners.
Pax Christi Metro DC-Baltimore is a region of Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace and justice movement. Through prayer, study, and action, we work as individuals and in groups to build a just and peaceful world, witnessing to Jesus’s message and example of nonviolence. To register, go to http://paxchristimetrodc.org/2017/02/walking-into-the-future-with-jesus-martin-francis/
7 October 2016 at 7:30 p.m. “Just War, Just Peace, Just Catholic: Where are we going?” Place: Dorothy Day Catholic Worker: 503 Rock Creek Church Rd. NW, Washington, DC, 20010. In April an unprecedented conference took place in Rome on re-centering the Roman Catholic Church on active gospel nonviolence. Hear about the gathering from those who were there. More than 80 Catholics from around the world gathered with the Vatican to discuss how to renew active gospel nonviolence as a “instrument for peace,” to paraphrase Pope Francis. Join the global conversation on moving from a war church to a peace church. Sign the appeal asking Pope Francis for an encyclical on nonviolence. Be part of Francis’ 3-legged legacy: A church of the poor, defense of creation, and radical Christian nonviolence. For more information, please contact [email protected] or call 202-360-6416.
11-13 April 2016, Rome, Italy: Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence, co-sponsored by Pax Christi International and the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace. Rose Berger contributed to the conference a backgrounder paper titled “No Longer Legitimating War: Christians and Just Peace.” She will attend the conference and meet with other peace groups in Rome
22 March 2016: Watershed Discipleship webinar with Denise Nadeau & Rose Berger, hosted by Ched Myers and Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries. To purchase this webinar, go here.
This webinar celebrates World Water Day with a conversation about various strands of the watershed discipleship vision. Ched Myers recently edited an anthology entitled “Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith and Practice” (Wipf & Stock, to be published later this year). Denise Nadeau wrote the Foreword to the volume; joining us from Vancouver Island, she will talk about the indigenous “Waterwalking” movement. Rose Berger contributed poetry to the volume and is active in watershed literacy and protection work in the Chesapeake Bay watershed in Washington, D.C.
December 1, 2015, at 11 a.m. Sojourners in Washington, D.C., will host Rose Berger as guest preacher for the First Sunday of Advent chapel service.
September 20, 2015, at 3 p.m. The Potter’s House in Washington, D.C., will host Laudato Si: The Zine Edition with Rose Berger
September 20, 2015, at 6 p.m. Discussion of Papal Encyclical Laudato Si via Skype to McAllen, Texas. Host: Steve Johnson. See here. (All proceeds from this event to go to Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley ministering among refugees at the U.S.-Mexico border.)
May 8, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. Lebanon Valley College will host Rose Marie Berger, senior associate editor for Sojourners magazine, as Baccalaureate speaker for the 2015 graduating class.
May 1, 2015. Morning Seminar for Sojourners’ interns: “God’s Cathedral–Poetry in D.C.’s Last Old Growth Forest.” The Olmsted Woods at the National Cathedral holds the last bit of old growth beech forest within the District of Columbia. We will read poetry, write, and contemplate God’s presence in the history of these trees and this place. (This event is not open to the public.)
April 24, 2015 at 7 p.m. an Earth Day lecture: “Caring for the Least of These – Matthew 25, Christians, and Climate Change” with Rose Marie Berger at the Church in Bethesda at 5033 Wilson Lane, Bethesda MD, 20814. For more information, contact the church at (301) 654-4159 or todd (at) churchinbethesda (d0t) org. In partnership with DMV Interfaith Power and Light. All are invited.
March 3, 2015. Carleton College, Northfield, Minn. Rose will address the Introduction to Christianity class from 10a to 12p. From 5:15 to 6:15p give a public lecture titled “When Your Faith Gets You in Trouble: Sojourners and Other Strange Stories.” See here for more information. (This event is supported by the Elizabeth Nason Distinguished Women Visitor’s Fund and the Carleton College Department of Religion.)
February 16-20, 2015. Bartimaeus’ Kinsler Institute: Between Seminary, Sanctuary, Streets and Soil: A Festival of Radical Discipleship. Oak View, Calif. (Tuesday) “40 Years of Radical Discipleship”–Rose will present on a panel about the history of Sojourners. “When We Were Young and Did Our Dreaming Awake: Radical Christian communities of the 70s and 80s with Jim Perkinson”–Rose will speak on the mechanics of Sojourners base community and Jim Perkinson will speak on Church of the Messiah in Detroit. (Thursday) “Writing and Publishing in The Movement”–Rose will present on Sojourners magazine and blog along with Ted Lewis (Wipf & Stock), Tom Airey and Lydia Wylie Kellermann (RadicalDiscipleship.net) and Mark Johnson (the Center and Library on the Bible and Social Justice). “The Spiritual Roots of Protest” by Gordon Oyer — Rose will offer a response to Gordon Oyers presentation of his material on the 1965 peacemakers retreat hosted by Thomas Merton at the Trappist monastery in Kentucky. (Friday) Rose will lead the closing liturgy with jazz musician Warren Cooper and preacher R. Carter Echols.
March 7, 2014, at 7 p.m. Lenten Soup Supper: “Coming Into Our Sacred Watershed: A Lenten Journey.” Friday, March 7 at 7 p.m. at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church (2700 S. 19th St. Arlington, VA 22204). For more information, contact Michelle Knight (mknight at gmail dot com).
June 20, 2013, at 10 a.m., religious leaders speak out against Keystone XL pipeline at National Press Club.
April 26, 2013, Morning Seminar for Sojourners’ interns: “God’s Cathedral–Poetry in D.C.’s Last Old Growth Forest.” The Olmsted Woods at the National Cathedral holds the last bit of old growth beech forest within the District of Columbia. We will read poetry, write, and contemplate God’s presence in the history of these trees and this place. This event is not open to the public.
“Palms, Matzoh, the Planet, and the White House: A Religious Call to Civil Disobedience” — Sojourners’ Rose Marie Berger will speak with Rabbi Arthur Waskow of The Shalom Center on Thursday, March 21, 2013, at 12 pm outside the White House in Washington, D.C., as part of a pre-Holy Week event hosted by Interfaith Moral Action on Climate (www.interfaithactiononclimatechange.org).
Lenten Retreat 2013: “‘So The Wounds … ‘ A Lenten Journey in Poetry”
March 15-17, 2013, in Birmingham, Alabama. Writer, activist, and poet Rose Marie Berger will lead a spiritual journey through ancient Lenten themes by introducing the poetry of Anna Akhmatova, Denise Levertov, Ralph Angel, Wendell Berry, Badr Chakir Al-Sayyab, and more. Treat yourself to a time away and step into the presence of the word and the Word. (You do not need to be familiary with poetry to enjoy the rich, contemplative wisdom of the art.) The Lenten Retreat is hosted by Mary’s House Catholic Worker and Shelley and Jim Douglass. To register and find out more, contact Shelley Douglass: shelleymdouglass (at) gmail (dot) com
Oct. 27, 2012 at 6 p.m. – “Creating the Beloved Community”
The Festival Center’s annual fundraising dinner will be held on Saturday, October 27, 2012, at 1640 Columbia Road NW, Washington, DC 20009. The theme is “Creating Beloved Community” and this year’s speaker will be Catholic peace activist, poet, and Sojourners columnist Rose Marie Berger. Please join us for an evening of good food, entertainment, and inspiration in support of The Festival Center and its life-changing programs. The festivities will begin at 6 p.m.. For more information, contact Joseph Deck, Festival Center executive director, at 202.328.0072.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 in Washington, D.C., at 7 -8:30 p.m. Rose will present on “Joy, Worship, and Resistance” for the Servant Leadership School class “Christianity as Movement: Conversations on Faith and Social Change” facilitated by Tim Kumfer, director of the Servant Leadership School, member of Eighth Day Faith Community, and a graduate of Duke Divinity School with a concentration in critical theory through the literature department. For more information, contact Tim Kumfer (202.328.0072). Address: The Festival Center/1640 Columbia Road NW/Washington, DC 20009.
Friday, May 4, 2012 in Washington, D.C., at 7:30 p.m. Rose will present on “Catholics, climate change, and the Keystone XL pipeline” for the Friday evening Clarification of Thought hosted by Dorothy Day Catholic Worker (503 Rock Creek Church Road, NW, Washington, D.C. 20010). For more information contact Art Laffin at 202.882.9649.
April 26-29, 2012, Word and World Mentoring Program at the Center for Environmental Transformation in Camden, NJ
Rose will participate in the closing retreat for the Word and World year-long Mentoring Program in which she has served as a mentor the past year. The Word and World Mentoring Program puts motivated, passionate 22-30-year-olds with a thirst for justice and a hunger for formation in conversation with some of the most influential and committed radical theologians and activist-scholars of our day. This year-long course of study and reflection is one answer to what lay theologian William Stringfellow might have called a vocational question—namely, in the face of globalization, political division, environmental degradation, and a culture of violence, what is theological education for?
Wednesday, March 14, 2012, in Washington, D.C. at 12:00 p.m.
Rose will preach at noon chapel service on the topic of “Celebrating International Women’s Day” at the United Methodist Building (100 Maryland Ave., NE, Washington, D.C., right next to the Supreme Court and across from the Capitol). For more information, please contact Linda Bales ([email protected]).
Friday – Sunday, March 23-25, 2012 in Birmingham, Alabama
Rose will be a responder at a retreat “Gandhi’s Wisdom: Reflections on Building Nonviolent Campaigns with Naryan Desai” hosted by Mary’s House Catholic Worker. Narayan Desai worked in Gandhi’s secretariat from 1936-1946, participating in the Indian freedom movement and Vinoba Bhave’s land grant movement. He’s one of the world’s most respected authorities on Gandhian nonviolence. For more information, please contact Shelley Douglass at 205-780-2020 or [email protected]
Friday, December 2, 2011, in Atlantic City, NJ Church Women United Celebrates 70 Years
Rose Berger and Lisa Sharon Harper will speak at the breakfast and lead two workshops on Christians and the environment for 400 women at this 70th anniversary gathering of Church Women United, one of the largest Christian women’s organizations in the U.S. representing 26 denominations and supporting organizations.
WORKSHOP: “For God so loved the world…”: Christians, Climate Change, and Environmental Justice”
From the Genesis creation story to Isaiah’s critique of imperial clear-cutting of the cedars of Lebanon to contemporary issues like the Keystone XL pipeline and fracking, Christians are engaged in advancing environmental justice. What do we need to understand about climate change, environmental racism, and environmental sexism? How do our scriptures give us a firm foundation for entering into very contemporary environmental issues? Led by Rose Berger and Lisa Sharon Harper.
Monday, November 7, 2011, 6 p.m.
Rose will preach at Festival Church at the Festival Center, 1640 Columbia Rd. NW, Washington, DC
Sunday, October 30, 2011, at 6 p.m.
Rose Berger and Joseph Ross will read poetry as part of the UnChurch! gathering at Clarendon Presbyterian Church in Virginia. For more information, contact Pastor David Ensign.
Sunday, October 30, 2011, 11:30 a.m.
Rose will lead a conversation on the Keystone XL Pipeline at St. Camillus Catholic Church in Silver Spring, MD
Join a conversation on Oct. 30 after the 10:30 multicultural Mass to learn more. Several in the St. Camillus community have been working very hard to learn about and take action around an oil pipeline that is proposed to be built from Alberta to Texas. After the 10:30 Mass on Oct. 30 in the St. Francis Room Rose Berger from Sojourners, Fr. Jacek, Luisa Saffiotti and others will discuss how they got involved in learning about the tar sands development in Canada and the Keystone XL pipeline that is proposed to carry tar sands oil to refineries in Texas. This will be a lively conversation on how tar sands development relates to current climate change; what hard questions the pipeline raises regarding jobs, Middle East wars, the U.S.-China economic race, indigenous rights, and transition to a post-fossil fuel economy; and how Catholic social teaching helps us think through these issues. For more information, contact Fr. Jacek at 301-434-8400 ex.14 or Rose Berger ([email protected]).
Sunday, July 24, 2011, 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Rose preaching at Church of the Epiphany, Washington, D.C.
Church of the Epiphany – Episcopal (1317 G St, NW/Washington, DC 20005—Metro Center) Rose Marie Berger, a Catholic peace activist and writer, will preach at the 8 am and 11am liturgies on July 24. She will also be present after coffee hour for a time of conversation about her sermon and environmental stewardship issues of our faith. She comes to Church of the Epiphany through Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light, which helps congregations of all faiths throughout the DC area save energy, go green, and respond to climate change (www.gwipl.org). Please make plans to hear Rose preach on July 24 and stay for coffee and the Sermon Conversation at 12:45pm in the Willard Room. All are welcome. For more information contact Susan Walker 202-347-2635, ext 20.
March 4-6, 2011: 11th Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage
Congressman John Lewis will lead a trip to Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma, Alabama for Members of the House, Senators, and invited guests. Rose Berger will represent Sojourners on this historic trip hosted by the Faith and Politics Institute.
Wednesday, 16 February, 2011, from 12-1p.m.
“Leaders Who Lunch” series at Sojourners
Blogging for Fun and Justice (with Jeannie Choi)
Rose Berger and Jeannie Choi, editor of God’s Politics blog, will speak at the noontime series held at Sojourners offices on the topic of starting a blog, costs involved, the importance of women’s voices, 5 tips for a successful post, and more.
MOUNT VERNON PLACE
600 BLOCK NORTH CHARLES STREET
BALTIMORE, MD 21201
(The CityLit stage is located on the south side of the Washington Monument.)
Humanities scholar Hope House DC’s “Big Read” program
May 3-4 and May 5-6, 2010
Description: This year Hope House DC is participating with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Humanities Council of Washington, DC, in the national Big Read program. Along with providing Earnest Gaines’ novel A Lesson Before Dying, Hope House DC is sponsoring two-day writing workshops in two prisons with award-winning writer Rose Berger to help incarcerated dads write their own lessons from behind bars for their children. A selection of their work will be available online in fall 2010.
Location: 2 prisons in Maryland (federal and state maximum security)
Apprentice House Authors’ Reading
Reading from Who Killed Donte Manning? The Story of an American Neighborhood
Thursday, April 15, 2010
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Loyola University, Baltimore, MD
4th Floor of the Student Union
Click here for more information.
Sojourners’ Mobilization to End Poverty
“Poverty and War: Breaking the Addiction” by Rose Marie Berger and Glen Stassen
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Workshop: 10:45 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Washington Convention Center
“Gospel Roots of Justice and Charity” by Rose Marie Berger
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C.
(4201 Albemarle St NW, D.C., 20016)**Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference
February 11-14, 2009
Poetry Reading at opening of Peace Mural in Washington, D.C.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
5 p.m – 6 p.m.
3336 M Street. NW, Washington, D.C.
This is special reception, open to the public, that honors Poets Against the War. Huong will unveil the newest segment of the Mural, depicting a number of poems that have been submitted by poets across the country and published to the Peace Mural. The public is invited to join this special event, followed by a reception. There will be select readings of poems throughout the day.
Howth Writers Conference
October 15-22, 2008
Guest Presenter: “Who Killed Donte Manning?”
Servant Leadership School
September 16, 2008