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.
  • "What I appreciated most about Converging Roads was the fact that each issue was treated with care and with nuance. It was not the same arguments I have always heard, and each issue was examined from multiple perspectives. Presenters were well informed in medicine, ethics, and Catholic teaching, providing well rounded presentations that honored both God and science."
  • -Previous 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
  • (If you are a priest in the Diocese of Alexandria, please email erin@forlifeandfamily.org for special pricing.)
  • Student Scholarship Rate**: $15
  • (Medical, and nursing, graduate, and undergraduate students)
  • *Not eligible for CME/CNE credits, however, 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, Chaplain certificates of completion can be requested upon registration for continuing education purposes.


  • The Hippocratic Oath: Countering a Secularist Bioethics
  • Thomas A. Cavanaugh, PhD
  • Dignity of the Patient
  • Arland K. Nichols, PhD (cand.)
  • Proportionate vs. Disproportionate Means and Pain Management
  • Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, PhD
  • End of Life Decision Making & Advance Directives
  • Natalie Rodden, MD
  • A Catholic Response to the Opioid Crisis
  • Jeffrey Berger, MD, FASAM
  • Physician Heal Thy Self
  • Maricela P. Moffitt, MD, MPH, FACP
  • Women’s Healthcare
  • Susan Caldwell, MD, CFCMC, Rev. Brian Gunter, and Elizabeth Wilson, LCSW




7:45 AM
Mass Check-In/Registration Begins
9:00 AM
Opening Remarks
9:10 - 10:10 AM
The Hippocratic Oath: Countering a Secularist Bioethics
10:15 - 11:15 AM
Dignity of the Patient
11:15 - 11:30 AM
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
A Catholic Response to the Opioid Crisis
12:30 - 2:00 PM
Hippocratic Oath Luncheon: Proportionate vs Disproportionate Means and Pain Management
2:00 - 2:20 PM
2:20 - 3:20 PM
End of Life Decision Making and Advance Directives
3:25 - 4:25 PM
Physician Heal Thy Self
4:25 - 4:40 PM
4:40 - 5:40 PM
Women's Healthcare
5:40 - 6:30 PM
Wine & Cheese Reception


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.

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 the Denver metro area.  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 M.D. 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 has been active in advancing efforts of support for Catholic healthcare workers in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, the Diocese of Salt Lake City, and now the Archdiocese of Denver.  She writes and speaks nationally on practicing authentically Catholic end of life care and advocating against physician assisted suicide. Dr. Rodden is currently pursuing a masters degree in clinical bioethics.  She leads an inpatient palliative care consultation service and serves as co-chair of her hospital's ethics committee.

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 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.

Professor of Philosophy, University of San Francisco

Thomas A. Cavanaugh, Ph.D. is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California. He is an Executive Board Member of both the American Catholic Philosophical Association (of which he will be president in 2020) and the Philosophers in Jesuit Education. Professor Cavanaugh has his B.A. Degree from Thomas Aquinas College and his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. Professor Cavanaugh has published a book with Oxford University Press on the Hippocratic Oath entitled, Hippocrates’ Oath and Asclepius’ Snake: The Birth of the Medical Profession (2018). At the University of San Francisco he regularly teaches about the Hippocratic Oath and medical ethics more generally. He has done so for the past twenty-five years. His other book entitled Double-effect Reasoning and published by Oxford University Press (2006) also concerns medical ethics, as do many of his articles. In 2019, Dr. Cavanaugh received the Smith Award from University Faculty for Life for his scholarship in medical ethics.

Medical Director, Guest House

Jeffrey Berger, MD, FASAM is a graduale 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.

Primary Care/Naprotechnology Physician, East Jefferson General Hospital

Susan Caldwell, MD, CFCMC is a primary care physician specializing in women’s health practicing at East Jefferson General Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a member of the Catholic Medical Association where she serves and local guild president and state director.  Dr. Caldwell received her MD from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans where she also completed her residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.  In 2013 she began her studies at the St. Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction in order to become a Certified Naprotechnology Medical Consultant in 2016.  She enjoys writing and speaking about authentic femininity and reproductive health that upholds the dignity of all human life and aligns with the teachings of the Catholic Church.  Her work has been published in the Linacre Quarterly and National Catholic Register.  She blogs about topics in women’s health at drsusancaldwell.com.

Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix

Maricela P. Moffitt, MD, MPH, FACP graduated from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston in 1986. She is Board certified in Internal Medicine and has practice Medicine for 28 years in Arizona. She obtained a Masters degree in Public Health in 1994 at the University of Arizona. Her research interest include Tuberculosis and medical education. She is currently holds the academic rank of Professor of Medicine and serves as the Director of the Doctoring Curriculum at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix where she teaches communication and physical exam skills to medical students. She is a part-time Hospitalist at the VA Hospital in Phoenix. She has served on the 1st Way (a crisis pregnancy center) Board of Directors; The HOPE Mobile Ultrasound Unit Board; The national Catholic Medical Association Board (President 2012) and current Board member. She currently serves on the Phoenix Diocesan Medical Ethics Board, the Catholic Medical Association Phoenix Board and Livanta LLC Board (Healthcare Quality Improvement). She teaches with her husband in the RCIA program at Corpus Christi parish. She is married to Dr. Robert A. Moffitt. They have three adult children.

President, Cenla Pregnancy Center

Rev. Brian Gunter is the Founder and President of Cenla Pregnancy Center and he also serves as the Director of Outreach for Louisiana Right to Life.  He is the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Pollock, Louisiana.  Rev. Gunter received his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Religion degree from Louisiana College and his Advanced Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Rev. Gunter has served in pro-life ministry for twelve years and has been a key leader in the pro-life movement throughout Louisiana, serving alongside Catholics and Protestants in defense of human life.  In addition, he initiated and organized pro-life marches in Alexandria and Monroe, where he leads thousands of people to march for an end to abortion every year.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Elizabeth Wilson is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and lead therapist for Woman’s New Life Center.  Elizabeth received her B.S. from the University of New Orleans and her MSW from Tulane University.  Elizabeth has been developing approaches and applying counseling treatment methods to women who are pregnant, post-pregnancy or struggling with infertility for the last 11 years.



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