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.
    • "Very high calibre and thought provoking seminars.  I'm definitely looking forward to the next opportunity. ... The invigoration of thought for all the seminars was so high throughout the day, time just seemed to fly by."
    • - 2018 Converging Roads attendee




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 Registration is Now Closed
Ticket 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.


  • Physician, Heal Thyself: A Theology of the Body Perspective on Healing the Whole Person
  • Monica Ashour, MTS, MHum
  • How to Remain Catholic in a Secular Culture
  • Daniel Battafarano, DO, MACP, FACR
  • A Catholic Response to the Opioid Crisis
  • Jeffrey Berger, MD, FASAM
  • Despair, Depression, and Assisted Suicide
  • Frances Broghammer, MD



  • Gender Dysphoria in Children & Adults: Science, Ideology, and Ethics
  • Paul Hruz, MD, PhD
  • Pornography Addiction: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Conceptualization and Treatment
  • Jennifer Madere, MA, LPC-S, EMDRIA-AC
  • End of Life Issues at Life’s Beginning
  • Robin Pierucci, MD, MA




7:45 AM
Check-In/Registration Begins
8:30 AM
Opening Remarks
8:45 - 9:40 AM
How to Remain Catholic in a Secular Culture
9:45 - 10:40 AM
Gender Dysphoria in Children & Adults: Science, Ideology, and Ethics
10:40 - 11:00 AM
11:00 - 11:55 AM
A Catholic Response to the Opioid Crisis
12:00 - 1:30 PM
  • Hippocratic Oath Luncheon
  • Physician, Heal Thyself: A Theology of the Body Perspective on Healing the Whole Person
1:30 - 1:45 PM
1:45 - 2:40 PM
Pornography Addiction: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Conceptualization and Treatment
2:45 - 3:40 PM
End of Life Issues at Life's Beginning
3:40 - 4:00 PM
4:00 - 4:55 PM
Despair, Depression, and Assisted Suicide
5:00 PM
Closing Remarks
5:30 PM
  • White Mass
  • Celebrated by Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller
6:30 - 7:30 PM
White Mass Reception


Neonatologist and Medical Director

Dr. Robin Pierucci is Jewish convert to Catholicism, a wife, mother of three, and a practicing neonatologist. She also has a master’s degree in bioethics as well as completing the National Catholic Bioethics Center ethics certificate course. In addition to her full-time clinical duties within the NICU, Dr. Pierucci remains active in perinatal palliative care, as well as leading ongoing performance improvement projects for drug exposed infants and their families.  She has multiple publications in peer and non-peer reviewed journals and has spoken around the country on multiple perinatal and ethical topics.  Additionally, Dr. Pierucci has appeared on a number of programs aired on EWTN including, Women of Grace, The Journey Home, EWTN Live, and her documentary about in vitro fertilization.  She has been a member of the Catholic Medical Association for many years and has recently became an associate scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute and a board member of the American College of Pediatrics.

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.

Psychiatrist; Clinical Director, Minnesota Department of Human Services

Francie Broghammer, MD, FABPN, is a Board-Certified Psychiatrist and a Clinical Director of Inpatient Mental Health for the State of Minnesota. She completed her residency training at the University of California, Irvine, including a two-year tenure as Chief Resident. Her academic and clinical interests lie in medical ethics, education, and human flourishing. She is a former Leonine Fellow, an American Psychiatric Association Leadership Fellow and is a board member for Pepperdine University’s American Project. Dr. Broghammer played Division I Women’s Lacrosse at the University of Notre Dame, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Science Pre-Professional Studies and Portuguese Language & Brazilian Studies. She attended the University of California, Irvine for medical school and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Medical Honor Society. She resides in Minnesota with her husband and their three children.

Executive Director, Theology of the Body Evangelization Team (TOBET)

Monica Ashour, M.T.S., M.Hum., holds two Masters from the University of Dallas—one in Theological Studies and one in Humanities. Monica is an author, national speaker, and President for the Theology of the Body Evangelization Team (TOBET). Named in 2010 by The Catholic National Register as one of the top six speakers on Saint John Paul’s seminal work known as the Theology of the Body (TOB), Monica has published 28 books, including The Body Matters program, TOB for Tots, and TOB for Kids. One endeavor of Miss Ashour’s is to debunk the common misconceptions that the Theology of the Body is a “birds-and-bees” centered program. That’s why TOBET’s The Body Matters program, which is being implemented all around the United States and abroad, forms children in the faith about what it means to be human, combating destructive messages from the culture. Monica has also written the Theology of the Body Marriage Preparation, a program which has been lauded by Cardinal Dolan of New York, Archbishop Aquila in Denver, Dr. Peter Kreeft of Boston College, and Dr. Janet Smith. In May 2015, Miss Ashour was a participant for an ad hoc committee for the Pontifical Council for the Family with Archbishop Paglia who advises Pope Francis. In November 2011, Monica presented a talk entitled, “How to Teach TOB to Teens” at the Theology of the Body International Symposium in Rome. She was also a participant in the International Summit on Lay Leadership with Cardinal Arinze in Rome. Before becoming a national speaker, Monica served as a campus minister at St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Texas A&M University from 1996 to 1999. There she launched the now nationwide Nun Run, in which young women travel around the nation visit convents. Before and after her stint at St. Mary’s, Monica enjoyed 20+ years teaching theology and literature in the classroom. Monica was the recipient of the Bishop’s 2008 Pro-Life Award for Civic Action and was recently named to the Hall of Fame for her alma mater, Nolan Catholic High School in Ft. Worth.  Monica was awarded by the Catholic Press Association for Honorable Mention—First Time Author of a Book, Everybody Has Something to Give. She also received the Excellence in Publishing Award for Children’s Books for her Every BODY Has a Body: God Made Us to Love.

Professor of Medicine, Uniformed Services University
Adjoint Professor of Medicine, UT Health-San Antonio

Daniel F. Battafarano DO, MACP, FACR received his undergraduate degree from the University of Scranton and Master’s Degree from Bryn Mawr College. He received his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) in 1983. After completing a Transitional Year Internship, he completed Internal Medicine Residency at Brooke Army Medical Center in 1987 receiving the outstanding resident teaching award. He practiced internal medicine from 1987-1990 in Nuremberg, Germany followed by a Rheumatology Fellowship at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, CO from 1990-1992 under Dr. Sterling West. Doctor Battafarano has served in every leadership capacity in graduate medical education (GME) in the U.S Army with many executive positions. This included program director for the transitional year and rheumatology fellowship, research director for internal medicine and rheumatology, Deputy Director for GME for the U.S. Army, Associate Dean for GME at San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC) and Associate Dean for TRISERVICE Allied Health Programs at Fort Sam Houston. In 1993, he initiated the American College of Physicians (ACP) South Texas Resident Research Meeting which is still ongoing. He served as a member of the PCOM Alumni Board of Directors from 2001-2004. He retired from the U.S. Army at the rank of Colonel in 2004 and was recognized with the Legion of Merit Medal and an education conference room at SAMMC was dedicated in his name. He served as Chairman, Rheumatology Service at SAMMC from 2004-2017 and Program Director for the Rheumatology Fellowship since 2016-2019. He is a Professor of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Adjunct Clinical Professor of Medicine, UT Health San Antonio and Adjunct Professor of Physical Therapy for Baylor University. His clinical research has focused primarily on RA, drug side-effects, medical education, and recently the ACR 2015 rheumatology workforce study. Doctor Battafarano has 65 national presentations, over 70 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters and numerous non-indexed educational publications and interviews. As research director from 2009-2019, 4 of his fellows were recognized with American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Distinguished Fellow Awards; less than 10 fellows are selected each year. He is certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Doctor Battafarano has served as member of the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP) Practice Committee 2011-2013, ACR Committee on Training and Workforce 2012-2015, ACR Division Director’s Task Force Committee 2014-2015, Co-Chairman of the ACR Workforce Study 2014-2017 and is currently on the ACR Board of Directors 2017-2020. Doctor Battafarano has been recognized with over 10 teaching awards, the ACP Laureate Award from the Army Chapter in 2007, Best Doctors in America Listing since 2010, the 2013 ARHP President’s Award, and as a Master of the ACP (MACP).

Medical Director, Guest House

Jeffrey Berger, MD, FASAM is a graduate of the Wayne State University School of Medicine. He is boarded in both Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine. Dr. Berger has worked in Addiction Medicine since 1983. He is past Medical Director of Brighton Hospital and currently is Medical Director at Guest House, a lay-run organization for Catholic clergy and religious who suffer from addictive disorders.

Psychotherapist, Consultant & Trainer

Jennifer Madere is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and EMDRIA Approved Consultant in private practice, and founding partner of Intuitus Group in Cedar Park, Texas.  Jennifer earned her BA in Psychology from Benedictine College, and MA in Counseling Psychology from the University of Denver. She has accompanied child and adult survivors of trauma on their journey of healing in psychotherapy since 2003. In addition to serving her clients, Jennifer supervises new clinicians, and consults and conducts training on treatment of complex trauma, pathological dissociation, and EMDR therapy. Jennifer has presented internationally on the research, assessment and treatment of Dissociative Disorders since 2014. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Catholic Psychotherapy Association as President-Elect, the EMDR Training Task Force of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, and the Consultation Practices Task Force of the EMDR International Association.



Accreditation 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 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(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 7 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(s)™ 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 Ohio Nurses Association (ONA), an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (OBN-001-91). _6_ contact hours approved.

-Articulate the inter-workings of the composite person, body, mind, and spirit.
-Describe the truth of the body, the truth of the mind, and the truth of the spirit and religion’s role in upholding the dignity of the whole person.
-Describe how “healing thyself” must take place within a communion of persons.
-Identify the role of faith and religion in the practice of medicine.
-Describe what is distinctive about medicine inspired by a Catholic world view.
-Describe how medicine inspired by a Catholic World view leads to positive outcomes.
-Identify means by which practitioners can maintain their Catholic faith and professional expertise to the service of patients.
-Discuss the phenomenology of depression and despair.
-Discuss suicide as an individualistic action with far-reaching implications, including the well documented effect of suicide contagion.
-List why suffering individuals seek assisted suicide.
-Discuss the duty of the physician when assisted suicide is requested.
-Discuss medical and psychosocial realities of gender dysphoria.
-Identify anthropological and medical basis for medical and psychological interventions.
-Describe the medical outcomes of puberty suppression and gender reassignment and whether these interventions are in keeping with medical data and best patient outcomes.
-Cite medical literature on gender dysphoria in adult and pre-adult populations.
-Discuss the health crisis centered on opioid abuse and overdosing.
-Identify a path forward for alleviating the crisis opioid abuse and overdosing through prevention, treatment, and recovery programs.
-Articulate a robust response for Catholic facilities and Catholic medical professionals with consideration for what practices and interventions, rooted in best practice, can be implemented.
-Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical issues associated with the care of neonatal and fetal patients.
-Describe how the ethical issues associated with the care of neonatal and fetal patients may differ from the same kind of care at other stages of life.
-Identify best practices for communicating diagnoses with parents and caregivers and how to best offer support to families.
-Describe the neurobiology of addiction to pornography and the scope of the problem.
-Discuss the mental, social, and medical adverse effects associated with pornography addiction and its relationship to sex addiction and hypersexual disorder.
-Describe effective interventions for patients who are diagnosed pornography addiction.

Chaplains The National Association of Catholic Chaplains has approved this program for 7.0 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 sara@forlifeandfamily.org

Licensed Professional Counselors The Texas State Board of Professional Counselors Examiners has approved the St. John Paul II Foundation to provide continuing education activities for Licensed Professional Counselors. This activity is approved for 4 hours (presentations on gender dysphoria, the opioid crisis, pornography addiction, and despair & depression). Please be sure to select the General Admission ticket option and request a certificate of completion on your registration form. For questions, please email [email protected].

Social Workers  The Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners has approved the St. John Paul II Foundation to provide continuing education activities for Social Workers. This activity is approved for 7 hours. Please be sure to select the General Admission ticket option and request a certificate of completion on your registration form. For questions, please email [email protected]


University of the Incarnate Word

4301 Broadway St
San Antonio, TX 78209

For More Information:
Sara Dietz, Conference Coordinator
[email protected]





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


    P.O. Box 5927
    Katy, TX 77491