New Orleans, LA


Health Care and Human Dignity

March 16, 2019 | 8:30AM - 6:15PM

WHEN Saturday, March 16, 2019, 8:30 am

WHERE Notre Dame Seminary
2901 S. Carrollton Avenue
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. 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 New Orleans and Notre Dame Seminary. To learn more about Converging Roads, click here.




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/Breakfast Begins
7:30 AM
8:30 AM
Opening Remarks
8:40 - 9:40 AM
  • The Dignity of the Person
  • Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D.
9:40 - 11:10 AM
  • Proportionate vs. Disproportionate Means and Planning Medical Care with Advanced Directives, DNR, and POLST
  • Arland Nichols, Ph.D. (cand.) and William L. Toffler, M.D.
11:10 - 11:25 AM
11:25 AM - 12:25 PM
  • Alleviating Suffering through Palliative Care and Pain Management
  • Natalie Rodden, M.D.
12:25 - 1:50 PM
  • Hippocratic Oath Luncheon: Foundations for Freedom and Conscience and Threats to the Right to Serve
  • Ashley K. Fernandes, M.D., Ph.D. and Dorinda C. Bordlee, Esq.
1:50 - 2:05 PM
2:05 - 3:05 PM
  • Accompanying the Suffering Patient and Shepherding the Dying from Death to New Life
  • Roland Millare, S.T.D.
3:05 - 3:25 PM
3:25 - 4:25 PM
  • Understanding the Cross of Infertility: Medicine, Ethics, Hope, and Joy
  • *Panel: Roland Millare, S.T.D.; Damon T. Cudihy, M.D.; and Ashley K. Fernandes, M.D., Ph.D.
4:25 - 5:10PM
  • Assisted Suicide, Medical Treatment?: What's Coming and How Should a Catholic Prepare?
  • William L. Toffler, M.D. and Dorinda C. Bordlee, Esq.
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 Founding President of the St. John Paul II Foundation in Houston. He is a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and the Catholic Medical Association. Mr. Nichols received his BA in philosophy from Texas A&M, MA in Divinity from the University of St. Thomas Graduate School of Theology. He holds a certificate in Health Care Ethics from the National Catholic Bioethics Center and is completing his Doctorate in Bioethics from Regina Apostolorum in Rome. He has published several articles on health care ethics and spoken extensively across the United States.

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.

Ashley K. Fernandes, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, and Associate Director, Center for Bioethics, The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Ashley K. Fernandes, M.D., Ph.D. is the Associate Director of the Center for Bioethics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. He received an MA in Philosophy from Johns Hopkins University; an MD from The Ohio State University; and a PhD in Philosophy (Bioethics) from Georgetown University. Dr. Fernandes is board certified in General Pediatrics. Focusing on bioethics and professionalism education scholarship, he also practices both hospital and ambulatory pediatrics. Dr. Fernandes is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, an elected member of the AAP’s Executive Committee on Bioethics, a member of the AOA Medical Honor Society, and a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, receiving the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine award in 2010. He has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards, most recently The Ohio State University College of Medicine’s “Courage to Teach” and “Inspire” Awards. Dr. Fernandes has been a member of the Catholic Medical Association since medical school, and is a member of their national speaker board, traveling across the country to speak on issues in Christian bioethics. He is also an advisor to the CMA Medical Student Section, which awarded him the national Mentor of the Year Award in 2015. He lives with his wife Shruti (a family physician) and two boys in Dublin, Ohio.

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

Biography coming soon.

Damon T. Cudihy, M.D.,
Obstetrician & Gynecologist, Acadiana Ob/Gyn, Lafeyette, LA

Biography coming soon.



Notre Dame Seminary

2901 S. Carrollton Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118

For More Information:
Susie Lopez, Conference Coordinator

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