New Orleans, LA

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. To learn more about Converging Roads, click here.
  • "I strongly encourage doctors, nurses, medical students, social workers, hospital chaplains, or anyone involved in healthcare to participate in this conference. Every person can benefit from the presentations at this conference to counter the attitude of our culture of death with the joy and hope of the Gospel of Life."
  • - Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans




Ticket Options:
  • Physician/Physician Assistant: $149
  • Nurse/Nurse Practitioner: $129
  • General Admission*: $79
  • (Other health care professionals and non-health care professionals)
  • Medical resident, clergy, or religious*: $69
  • Student Scholarship Rate**: $15
  • (Medical, and nursing, graduate, and undergraduate students)
  • *Not eligible for CME/CNE credits, however, Social Worker/Chaplain certificates of completion can be requested upon registration for continuing education purposes.
  • **Not eligible for CME/CNE credits.

Exhibitor Opportunities:
Includes 1 exhibitor booth and admission for 1 organizational representative
  • Ministry/Non-Profit (including CME/CNE credits): $170
  • Ministry/Non-Profit (not including CME/CNE credits)*: $100
  • Vendor/For-Profit (including CME/CNE credits): $220
  • Vendor/For-Profit (not including CME/CNE credits)*: $150
  • *Not eligible for CME/CNE credits, however, Social Worker/Chaplain certificates of completion can be requested upon registration for continuing education purposes.


7:00 AM
Registration Begins
7:30 AM
8:30 AM
Prayer & Opening Remarks
8:40 - 9:25 AM
The Dignity of the Person
9:25 - 10:20 AM
Proportionate vs. Disproportionate Means
10:20 - 10:35 AM
10:35 - 11:30 AM
Planning Medical Care with Advanced Directives, DNR, and LaPOST
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Alleviating Suffering through Palliative Care and Pain Management
12:30 - 1:50 PM
Hippocratic Oath Luncheon: Foundations for Freedom and Conscience and Threats to the Right to Serve
1:50 - 2:05 PM
2:05 - 3:05 PM
Hope and Compassion at the Feet of Those Who Suffer
3:05 - 3:25 PM
3:25 - 4:25 PM
Understanding the Cross of Infertility: Medicine, Ethics, Hope, and Joy
4:25 - 5:10 PM
Assisted Suicide, Medical Treatment?: What's Coming and How Should a Catholic Prepare?
5:10 - 6:15 PM
Closing Remarks and Wine & Cheese Reception


Vice President of Curriculum and Director of Clergy Initiatives

Dr. Roland Millare, a native Houstonian, serves as Vice President of Curriculum and Director of Clergy Initiatives for the St. John Paul II Foundation (Houston, TX). Dr. Millare served as a member of the Theology Department at St. John XXIII College Preparatory (Katy, TX) for over 15 years. He received a BA in Theology from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. He has a MA in Theological Studies (with a concentration in Moral Theology) from the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College (Alexandria, VA) and a Licentiate (STL) and Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD) in Dogmatic Theology (with a specialization in Sacramental Theology) from the University of St. Mary of the Lake (Mundelein, IL). Dr. Millare also serves as an adjunct professor of theology for permanent deacon candidates, seminarians, undergraduate and graduate students at the University of St. Thomas, St. Mary’s Seminary, the Diocese of Fort Worth and the University of Dallas. He has published various theological articles for Logos, Antiphon, New Blackfriars, Nova et Vetera, and the Heythrop Journal. He has published the book, A Living Sacrifice: Liturgy and Eschatology in Joseph Ratzinger (Emmaus Academic, 2022). Dr. Millare has also contributed an article to a forthcoming lexicon on the theology of Joseph Ratzinger (Ignatius Press). Dr. Millare is a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, Academy of Catholic Theology, and the Society for Catholic Liturgy. Dr. Millare lives with his beautiful wife Veronica and their three children.

Professor Emeritus, Family Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University

Dr. William Toffler is Professor Emeritus of Family Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University where he practiced the full scope of family medicine and taught medical students and residents for more than 34 years. He is co-founder and National Director of Physicians for Compassionate Care Education Foundation  (PCCEF), a non-profit organization that promotes compassionate care for severely ill patients without sanctioning or assisting their suicide. PCCEF physicians affirm an ethic based on the principle that all human life is inherently of value and that the physician's roles are to heal illness, alleviate suffering, and provide comfort for the sick and dying. He is committed to defending the long-standing, medical prohibition against doing harm.  He has been a member of the Physicians Resource Council at Focus on the Family for more than 20 years.  He has frequently invited to speak about medical ethical issues at both national and international conferences and on US television and radio including the NPR, 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, as well as international media in Canada, Australia, the UK and Japan.

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.

Palliative Medicine Physician, Intermountain Healthcare

Dr. Natalie King is a palliative medicine physician who specializes in caring for patients with serious illness and nearing the end of life. She is originally from Indiana and attended the University of Notre Dame. While in medical school at Tulane University, she founded the Catholic Medical Association Student Section. She completed internal medicine residency at the University of Utah and palliative medicine fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. After fellowship she worked as a palliative medicine physician in Denver, Colorado, helping lead her hospital’s ethics committee and teach trainees. She completed a master’s degree in bioethics from The Ohio State University, partnering with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to improve education around palliative care for Catholic laity. She has organized a forum for the Catholic Medical Association on end-of-life issues. She is passionate about education and advocacy about palliative medicine and ethical issues relating to serious illness and the end-of-life and is set to have a book released by Ave Maria Press in fall of 2024. She lives with her husband and daughter in Salt Lake City, Utah, and works at Intermountain Healthcare.

Director of Education, The National Catholic Bioethics Center

Fr. Tad currently serves as the Director of Education at The National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia and directs the Center's National Catholic Certification Program in Health Care Ethics. He is a priest of the diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts. He writes and speaks widely on bioethics and medical ethics. Since 2001, he has given several hundred presentations and invited lectures, and participated in debates and roundtables on contemporary bioethics throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He has taught bioethics classes for seminarians at St. John's Seminary in Boston, Pope St. John XXIII Seminary in Weston, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Connecticut. As an undergraduate Fr. Tad earned degrees in philosophy, biochemistry, molecular cell biology, and chemistry, and did laboratory research on hormonal regulation of the immune response. He later earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Yale University, where he focused on cloning genes for neurotransmitter transporters which are expressed in the brain. He worked for several years as a molecular biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Father Tad studied for 5 years in Rome at both the Gregorian University and the Lateran University, where he did advanced work in dogmatic theology and in bioethics, examining the question of delayed ensoulment of the human embryo. He has testified before members of the Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Virginia and Oregon State Legislatures during deliberations over stem cell research and cloning. He writes a monthly newspaper column on bioethics that is nationally syndicated to more than 40 diocesan newspapers in the U.S., and which has also been carried by newspapers in England, Poland and Australia. He has done commentaries for numerous media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, CNN International, ABC World News Tonight, National Public Radio, the Wall Street Journal, the Dallas Morning News, and the New York Times.

Vice President, Senior Counsel of Bioethics Defense Fund

Dorinda C. Bordlee, Esq. is vice president and senior counsel of Bioethics Defense Fund (BDF), a legal and educational organization that she co-founded in 2005 with president and general counsel Nikolas T. Nikas. The mission of BDF is to create winning arguments for human dignity based on the natural law to benefit students, lawmakers, courts and citizens across the United States and abroad. Dorinda obtained a Juris Doctorate (’90) with Law Review Honors, and B.A. in Finance summa cum laude (’87), both from Loyola University New Orleans. Before dedicating her legal career exclusively to life issues in 1994, Dorinda served as judicial law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, worked for a law firm that specialized in law enforcement civil rights defense, and founded a statewide legal publication, Louisiana Supreme Court Reports. As senior counsel of BDF, Dorinda drafts original legislation for legislatures across the nation and abroad, engages in strategic litigation and amicus briefs at all levels including the U.S. Supreme Court, drafts opinion pieces for national journals, and presents cutting-edge education seminars on the issues of abortion, biotech and reproductive technology, end of life issues and healthcare rights of conscience.

Obstetrician & Gynecologist, Acadiana Ob/Gyn, Lafeyette, LA

Damon T. Cudihy, M.D., is an Obstetrician and Gynecologist at Acadiana Ob/Gyn in Lafayette, LA.  He is a member of the Catholic Medical Association, the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.  Dr. Cudihy received his B.A. from Florida State University and his MD from the University of Florida College of Medicine. He fulfilled his military service obligation as a Field Surgeon during which he volunteered for an overseas deployment in July of 2006. In Iraq, Dr. (Captain) Cudihy served as Battalion Surgeon where his duties included providing medical care to hundreds of Iraqi civilians during various medical missions. Dr. Cudihy completed his specialty training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo affiliated Sisters of Charity Hospital in June 2009. On the national and international level, he has been featured on such outlets as The Station of the Cross Catholic radio, Radio Maria, and EWTN television.  Since moving to Louisiana, Dr. Cudihy has testified before the State Legislature regarding various bills touching on the life issues, has served as an expert witness for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals in federal court in defense of abortion regulations, and become a regular guest lecturer at Notre Dame Seminary. Above all else, however, Dr. Cudihy’s most important professional roles are those of husband to his wife, Lauren, of over 17 years (without whom he would not be an Ob/Gyn physician) and as father to their 7 wonderful children–who continually remind him of the generosity and love of God.




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

Physician Credit

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations designates this educational activity for a maximum of 7.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. 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)TM by an organization accredited by the ACCME or a recognized state medical society. Physician assistants may receive up to 7.25 credits for completing this activity.

Nurse Practitioner

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM from organizations accredited by the ACCME. Individuals are responsible for checking with the AANPCP for further guidelines. Nurse practitioners may receive up to 7.25 credits for completing this activity.


This educational activity has been approved by the Ohio Nurses Association (ONA), an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (OBN-001-91). 7.25 contact hours approved.


-Discuss the true meaning of freedom according to the classical ethical tradition.

-Describe a well-formed conscience and the basic human right to discharge one’s conscience.

-Identify threats to conscience faced by medical professionals today.

-Identify protections and legal rights of medical professionals in the face of threats to the right to serve.

-Discuss the legal trends of physician assisted suicide in the U.S. and Louisiana.

-Identify ways the medical community can address physician assisted suicide in their respective areas of medicine.

-Describe the ethical dimensions involved in Physician Assisted Suicide for the health care professional and what is medically


-Identify physician assisted suicide as a symptom of the problem of secular medical ethics and a result of post-Hippocratic medicine.

-Describe the medical options for a family struggling with infertility.

-Discuss the emotional and psychological suffering associated with infertility.

-Identify best practices for medical treatment, psycho-social support, and intervention on behalf of patients.

-Discuss the meaning and purpose of suffering and how to help patients mature through suffering.

-Define compassion in the care of patients and their families.

-Describe the role of hope and how to foster hope appropriately within the patients and families served.

-Define proportionate and disproportionate means and identify the weaknesses of the language of futility in decision making.

-Describe the criteria used to determine whether a treatment is morally obligatory (proportionate) or morally optional (disproportionate).

-Distinguish between living will and health care power of attorney and describe the ethical concerns arising from their use or lack thereof.

-Indicate how DNR and LaPOST impacts the course of treatment and care offered to patients.

-Discuss the basis for the sanctity of human life.

-Describe how the human person images God.

-Describe what it means to speak of the dignity of the person and how dignity impacts medical care.

-Discuss the types of pain and suffering that affect patients and how to robustly address pain and suffering in a clinical context.

-Define palliative care and ethical use of medical interventions that address suffering but hasten death.

-Describe pain management regimens which help relieve suffering most effectively at the end of life.


The National Association of Catholic Chaplains has approved this program for 7.25 Continuing Education Hours. Please be sure to select the General Admission or Clergy/Religious (if applicable) ticket option and request a certificate of completion on your registration form. For questions, please email [email protected]


Notre Dame Seminary

2901 S. Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118

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





    1177 W Loop South, Ste. 940
    Houston, TX 77027


    P.O. Box 5927
    Katy, TX 77491