Houston, TX

about Converging Roads

Where Health Care Ethics and Medicine Converge
Converging Roads is a regional conference series offering continuing education for health care professionals that equips them to practice the highest ethical and medical standards of their profession. Converging Roads provides health care professionals, chaplains, students, and administrators with the most up-to-date training in health care ethics enabling them to more effectively care for their patients. An initiative of the St. John Paul II Foundation, Converging Roads is deeply rooted in the Catholic moral tradition and is presented in multiple local or regional conferences. Health care professionals receive continuing medical education credits, insight from national level speakers, and the opportunity for networking with local health care professionals.
Converging Roads™ is an initiative of the St. John Paul II Foundation and presented in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Catholic Healthcare Professionals of Houston, University of St. Thomas, and CHI St. Luke's Health. To learn more about Converging Roads, click here.
  • Online registration closed on Thursday, April 19 at 11:59 pm.
  • On-site registration will be available in the Great Hall at the
  • St. John Paul II Foundation/The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter on
  • Saturday, April 21 beginning at 7:00 am.
  • Cash, check, or credit cards will be accepted.

Sexuality & Fertility in Medicine

April 21, 2018 | 8:45AM - 6:15PM



  • Physician/Physician Assistant: $159
  • Nurse/Nurse Practitioner: $139
  • General Admission*: $79
  • (Other health care professionals and non-health care professionals)
  • Medical Resident/Clergy/Religious*: $69
  • Student Scholarship Rate*: $10
  • (Undergraduate, graduate, medical, and nursing students)

*Not eligible for CME/CNE credits

  • Ministry/Non-Profit Registration (including CME/CNE credits): $170
  • (includes 1 general admission, with CME/CNE credits, and 1 table)
  • Ministry/Non-Profit Registration (not including CME/CNE credits)*: $100
  • (includes 1 general admission and 1 table)
  • Vendor/For-Profit Registration (including CME/CNE credits): $220
  • (includes 1 general admission, with CME/CNE credits, and 1 table)
  • Vendor Registration (not including CME/CNE credits)*: $150
  • (includes 1 general admission and 1 table)

*Not eligible for CME/CNE credits

For More Information:



7:00 AM
Registration Begins
7:30 AM
  • Mass
  • Celebrant & Homilist: Rev. Charles Hough IV, Rector, The Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham
8:45 AM
Opening Remarks
9:00-10:00 AM
  • Hormonal Contraceptives: The "Why" Behind the "No"
  • Sister Terese Auer, O.P., Ph.D.
10:05-11:05 AM
  • Wellness As Respect for Persons: Developing Sensitivity to the Family Health of Practitioners and Patients
  • Ashley K. Fernandes, M.D., Ph.D.
11:05-11:15 AM
11:15 AM-12:15 PM
  • Providing Medical and HIV Care for Men Who Have Sex with Men: Medical Perspectives of an Infectious Disease Physician and Deacon
  • Timothy P. Flanigan, Deacon and M.D.
12:15-1:45 PM
Hippocratic Oath Luncheon
12:55-1:45 PM
  • Gender Dysphoria in Children: Science, Ideology, and Ethics
  • Paul W. Hruz, M.D., Ph.D.
1:45-2:00 PM
2:00-3:00 PM
  • Can Hormonal Contraceptives be Used for Medical Reasons?
  • Patrick Yeung Jr., M.D.
3:05-4:05 PM
  • What is Lost?: The Psychological and Social Impact on Spouses Facing Infertility
  • Kelly A. Morrow, Ph.D.
4:05-4:15 PM
4:15-5:15 PM
  • "You May Not Get Pregnant": A Panel on Contraceptives
  • Arland K. Nichols, Ph.D. (cand.) and more
5:15-6:15 PM
Closing Remarks and Wine & Cheese Reception


President, St. John Paul II Foundation

Arland K. Nichols is president and founder of the St. John Paul II Foundation. Early in his career, as an educator and non-profit executive, he became a popular speaker and successful writer while he established the groundwork for the initiatives that would become the St. John Paul II Foundation. Arland launched the St. John Paul II Foundation in 2014 and he is author of the 4th edition of the Handbook on Critical Life Issues published in 2024 by the National Catholic Bioethics Center. Arland earned a B.A. in philosophy from Texas A&M, an M.Div. in Theology from University of St. Thomas, and pursued doctoral studies in bioethics at Regina Apostolorum in Rome. With the generous support of his wife, Cindy, and their ten children, Arland is blessed to lead the St. John Paul II Foundation as it serves, educates, and supports medical professionals, married couples, and clergy.

Chair of Bioethics, Saint John Paul the Great High School

Sister Terese Auer, O.P., Ph.D. is the head of the bioethics department and a teacher at Saint John Paul the Great High School in Potomac Shores, Virginia.  She is a board member of Human Life International. Sister Terese received her B.A. Degree in English from Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, WI, and her Master’s and Doctoral Degrees in Philosophy from the Center for Thomistic Studies at the University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX. Sister Terese has taught at the high school and college levels for about 40 years.  She has also written two textbooks for high school students: The Human Person ~ Dignity Beyond Compare and Called to Happiness ~ Guiding Ethical Principles.

Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Director, Center for Bioethics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Dr. Fernandes received an M.D. from The Ohio State University, a PhD in Philosophy from Georgetown University, and an MA in Philosophy from Johns Hopkins University, with a focus on bioethics. He directs ethics education for pediatric residents at Nationwide Children's Hospital. His scholarly interests include Catholic Christian bioethics, Medicine and the Holocaust studies, pediatric ethics, and philosophical anthropology as it relates to medical practice. He has presented his work at international forums, and is the author of scores of peer-reviewed publications and three book chapters. After a decade as a hospitalist, he is now an academic primary care pediatrician and has been an expert witness in court cases defending the rights of Christian healthcare professionals and prolife organizations. Dr. Fernandes is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Pediatricians, an elected member of the AAP's national Executive Committee on Bioethics, a member of the AOA Medical Honor Society, and a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, receiving Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine award twice - in 2020 and in 2010. He has been awarded OSU's highest honors for teaching, including the Award in Mentorship, Professor of the Year award, and Master Teacher Award. He is an active member of the Catholic Medical Association and is part of their national speaker board, and a member of Ohio Right to Life's Board of Trustees. Outside of medicine, his interests include hiking in the National Parks, history, travel, and tennis. He lives with his wife and two boys in Dublin, Ohio. The views he expresses are those of his own and not those of his employers.

Professor of Medicine, Brown University Division of Infectious Diseases, The Miriam Hospital

Timothy P. Flanigan, M.D. is Professor of Medicine in Infectious Diseases at the Brown Medical school. He received a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.D. from Cornell University Medical School. In 1991 he came to join Dr. Charles Carpenter to lead the HIV and AIDS program. He has received recognition from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and from the HIV Medicine Association for his community-based work with HIV-infected men and women that are in prison and jail, and for providing educational support for their children. In 2013, he was ordained a permanent deacon in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, RI. In 2014, he spent two months in Monrovia, Liberia helping the Catholic medical clinics and hospitals respond to the Ebola epidemic. He currently serves as a deacon at Saint Theresa’s and St. Christopher’s churches in Tiverton, RI.

Professor of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine

Paul W. Hruz is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Professor of Cellular Biology and Physiology at Washington University in St. Louis. Hruz received his Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry from Marquette University in 1987. As a member of the Medical Scientist Training Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin, he received his Ph.D. Degree in Biochemistry in 1993 and M.D. Degree in 1994. He completed Residency training in Pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle and a Pediatric Endocrinology fellowship at Washington University.  Hruz served at the Chief of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at Washington University from 2012-2017.  He is a member of the University's Disorders of Sexual Development (DSD) Multidisciplinary Care Program. Hruz is board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrinology. He has also received certification in Healthcare Ethics from the National Catholic Bioethics Center.  He has authored over 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts, scientific reviews and book chapters.

Clinical Psychologist, Pope Paul VI Institute

Kelly Morrow, M.A., Ph.D. is the Clinical Psychologist at Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction, Omaha, Nebraska. She is a clinical member and former member of the Board Directors of the Catholic Psychotherapy Association, member of the Nebraska Psychological Association, affiliate of the Catholic Medical Association, and associate of the American Academy of Fertility Care Professionals. Dr. Morrow received her B.A. from Hastings College, her M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Health Psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Dr. Morrow has provided psychological care in medical settings for over 25 years. She provides integrated healthcare for patients with psychological and medical disorders including couples facing infertility and women with various Ob/Gyn disorders (e.g., PMDD, Postpartum Depression). Dr. Morrow has published research papers and articles on the topic of infertility, given presentations at medical and psychological professional meetings, and teaches at the Education Program for FertilityCare Practitioners.

Professor, Gynecological Surgical Subspecialties, Saint Louis University

Patrick Yeung Jr., M.D. is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology  & Women’s Health at Saint Louis University. Dr. Yeung is Director of the SLUCare Restorative Fertility Clinic, and Director of the SLUCare Center for  Endometriosis. He is Vice President of  the St. Louis Guild of the Catholic Medical Association. Dr. Yeung received his MD at Queen’s  University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and did his residency training at Georgetown  University in Washington DC. Dr. Yeung has published over 40 articles in medical and ethics  publications, and is a speaker at national and international conferences and courses.



Accreditation Statement

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Christian Medical & Dental Associations and St. John Paul II Foundation. The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The AMA Designation Statement

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations designates this educational activity for a maximum of 7 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Physician Assistant

AAPA accepts certificates of participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. by an organization accredited by the ACCME or a recognized state medical society. Physician assistants may receive up to 7 credits for completing this activity.

Nurse Practitioner

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME. Individuals are responsible for checking with the AANPCP for further guidelines. Nurse practitioners may receive up to 7 credits for completing this activity.


This educational activity has been approved by the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN), an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. 7 contact hours approved.

  • -Discuss the purpose of the document Humanae vitae for families. Discuss why some patients and practitioners may be  opposed, due to religious or ethical belief, to using or prescribing hormonal contraceptives. Identify and consider the benefits of non-hormonal means of postponing pregnancy and their medical and social outcomes. Identify psychological and sociological outcomes resultant from widespread embrace of hormonal contraceptives.
  • -Provide examples of how to attend to the family and marital relationships when caring for patients. Identify ways for healthcare professionals to balance being a spouse or a parent with their professional obligations. Describe ways in which the health of the physician can be attended to ensuring professional longevity and avoiding burnout. Identify best practices for conversations regarding family history and family health
  • -Provide examples of whole-person care for men who have sex with men. Discuss sexual transmitted disease and coterminous diseases in the context of men who have sex with men. Consider and analyze mental health in the population of men who have sex with men. Identify and describe how to encourage risk avoidance behavior that respects the patient and ensures his flourishing.
  • -Discuss medical psychosocial realities of gender dysphoria. Identify anthropological and medical basis for medical and psychological interventions. Consider medical outcomes of puberty suppression and gender reassignment and whether these interventions are in keeping with medical data and best patient outcomes. Review the medical literature on gender dysphoria in adult and pre-adult population
  • -Describe the medical options for a family struggling with infertility. Provide insight into the emotional and psychological suffering associated with infertility. Identify best practices for psycho-social support, treatment and intervention on behalf of patients.
  • -Describe the diseases or pharmaceutical interventions that may preclude a patient from becoming pregnant to ensure best outcomes. Distinguish between different means by which optimal patient outcomes can be reach. Discuss the role of rights of conscience should a patient or practitioner be, for religious or deeply person reason, be categorically opposed to contraception or sterilization. Describe provision of informed consent in scenarios in which patients of child bearing age may not become pregnant.
  • -Identify causes and symptoms of dysfunctional uterine bleeding. Consider functional management and restorative medicine as an intervention for women experiencing dysfunctional uterine bleeding. Address impact and suitability of hormonal interventions on dysfunctional uterine bleeding. Discuss ethical issues regarding potential clinical interventions.


St. John Paul II Foundation

7730 Westview Dr
Houston, TX 77055

For More Information:
Susie Lopez, Conference Coordinator
[email protected]





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