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 - 9:40 AM
The Dignity of the Person
9:40 - 11:10 AM
Proportionate vs. Disproportionate Means and Planning Medical Care with Advanced Directives, DNR, and LaPOST
11:10 - 11:25 AM
11:25 AM - 12:25 PM
Alleviating Suffering through Palliative Care and Pain Management
12:25 - 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
Accompanying the Suffering Patient and Shepherding the Dying from Death to New Life
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


Director of Shepherd’s Heart

Dr. Roland Millare, a native Houstonian, serves as the Director of Shepherd’s Heart Program. Additionally, Roland serves as the Chair of the Theology Department at St. John XXIII College Preparatory (Katy, TX). He has been teaching at the school since it opened in 2004. He also serves as an adjunct professor of theology for permanent deacon candidates at St. Mary’s Seminary. He attended St. Francis De Sales K-8th grade and he graduated from St. Thomas High School in 1999. He received a BA in Theology from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. He has a MA in Theological Studies 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) at the Liturgical Institute of the University of St. Mary of the Lake (Mundelein, IL). He has published various theological articles and book reviews for the Adoremus Bulletin,  Logos, Antiphon, New Blackfriars, and the Heythrop Journal. Roland enjoys the gift of life and love with his beautiful wife Veronica and their two daughters, Gabriella and Karolina, in Sugar Land.

William L. Toffler, M.D.
Professor of Family Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University

William L. Toffler, M.D. is a Professor of Family Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University where he teaches medical students and residents and has a wide scope of practice ranging from delivering babies to geriatric and palliative care.Dr. Toffler 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 the past 20 years. He has frequently invited to speak about these and other medical ethical issues at both national and international conferences and to be on US television and radio including the NPR, 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, as well as international media in Canada, the UK and Japan.

Arland K. Nichols, Ph.D. (cand.)
President, St. John Paul II Foundation

Arland K. Nichols, Ph.D. (cand.)  is president and founder of the St. John Paul II Foundation. After a decade of teaching and leadership at a Catholic college preparatory school and an international nonprofit, Arland launched the St. John Paul II Foundation in 2014. Early in his career 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. He is author, with Rev. John Leies of the forthcoming 4th edition of the Handbook on Critical Life Issues published 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 is completing a Ph.D. in bioethics from Regina Apostolorum in Rome. With the generous support of his wife, Cindy, and their seven children, Arland is blessed to lead the St. John Paul II Foundation as it serves, educates, and supports medical professionals, married couples, and clergy.

Natalie Rodden, M.D.
Palliative Medicine Physician, St. Anthony North Health Campus, Westminster, CO

Natalie Rodden, M.D. is a palliative medicine physician at St. Anthony North Health Campus in Westminster, Colorado. She is a member of the Catholic Medical Association and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Rodden received her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and her MD from Tulane University. She completed internal medicine residency at the University of Utah and palliative medicine fellowship at the Mayo Clinic Arizona. During medical school, she founded the Catholic Medical Association Student section, a national organization with the goal of preparing students to uphold the principles of the Catholic faith in the science and practice of medicine. She was active in advancing efforts of support for Catholic healthcare workers in the Archdiocese of New Orleans and the Diocese of Salt Lake City. Her fellowship research on "improving spiritual competency at the Mayo Clinic" focused on encouraging a culture of awareness and comfort of health providers addressing spiritual issues, notably at the end of life. She currently leads an inpatient palliative care consultation service and serves as co-chair of her hospital's ethics committee.

Rev. Tadeusz Pascholczyk, Ph.D
Director of Education, 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 at St. John's Seminary in Boston, 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.

Dorinda C. Bordlee, Esq
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.

Damon T. Cudihy, M.D.,
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.



Notre Dame Seminary

2901 S. Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118

For More Information:
Susie Lopez, Conference Coordinator





    7730 Westview
    Houston, TX 77055


    P.O. Box 5927
    Katy, TX 77491