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.
  • Feedback from Converging Roads 2019 and 2020:
  • "I have been attending the Converging Roads conferences for three years now and have found the program enlightening and inspiring every year. As a medical student, I greatly appreciate having a way to learn from experts on how to think about medicine in the context of my faith."
  • "Amazing conference. So many ethical questions arise with this conference. It is sometimes challenging in a normal day-to-day experience to engage in the faith’s doctrine and sometime we forget, but Converging Roads sets a reminder for the importance of Catholic medical professionals in the field."
  • "I have now attended several of the Converging Roads conferences and have been greatly impressed by the caliber of the speakers and their knowledge base. The conferences have been exceptional."

Health + Safety Guidelines

  • The St. John Paul II Foundation and our presenting sponsors remain hopeful that Converging Roads will take place in person as planned under the guidance of Diocesan, city, and state recommendations. In order to meet the needs of our conference attendees, this year’s Converging Roads will be offered both in person and online. Please see below for ticket options and pricing. 
  • We know that Converging Roads is a vital ministry to you as health care professionals, and we look forward to serving you through this conference. We will ensure adequate social distancing and encourage the use of masks when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • *Policy is subject to change; dependent on Diocesan, city, and state guidelines at the time of the conference. 




  • In-Person Ticket Options:
    • Physicians/Physician Assistants: $149
    • Nurses/Nurse Practitioners: $129
    • General Admission*: $79
    • (Other health care professionals and non-health care professionals)
    • Medical residents, clergy, or religious*: $69
    • 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.
  • Online Ticket Options:
    • Physician/Physician Assistant: $119
    • Nurse/Nurse Practitioner: $99
    • General Admission*: $49
    • (Other health care professionals and non-health care professionals)
    • Medical resident, clergy, or religious*: $39
    • Student Scholarship Rate**: $0
    • (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, in-person admission for 1 organizational representative, and inclusion in our Virtual Exhibitor Hall.
  • 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.


  • Rationing in Times of Crisis
  • Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, PhD
  • Conscience Protection
  • Gina Maria Noia, PhD
  • The Duty to Care When Facing Personal Risk
  • Mark Repenshek, PhD
  • The Role of Disability in Determining Proportionate and Disproportionate Means and Access to Care
  • Claudia R. Sotomayor, MD, DBe
  • Determining Treatments and Care at the End of Life
  • Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, PhD
  • Gender Dysphoria: Science, Ideology, and Ethics
  • Paul Hruz, MD, PhD


8:00 AM
  • White Mass
  • Check-In/Registration Opens
9:15 AM
Opening Remarks
9:25 - 10:25 AM
Determining Treatments and Care at the End of Life
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
The Role of Disability in Determining Proportionate and Disproportionate Means and Access to Care
12:00 - 1:30 PM
Hippocratic Oath Luncheon
12:25 - 1:25 PM
The Duty to Care When Facing Personal Risk
1:50 - 2:50 PM
Rationing In Times of Crisis
2:55 - 3:55 PM
Conscience Protection
4:10 - 5:10 PM
Gender Dysphoria: Science, Ideology, and Ethics
5:15 - 6:00 PM
Wine & Cheese Reception


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.

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.

Clinical Ethicist and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Georgetown University

Dr. Claudia Sotomayor, is the Chief of the Clinical Consultation Service of the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics, a Cura Personalis Fellow and an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine of GUMC. She holds an M.D. from Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua, in Chihuahua, Mexico and a Doctorate in Bioethics from Loyola University in Chicago Il, USA. Claudia also completed a fellowship in Clinical Bioethics at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston TX. (USA). She has been a Research Scholar for UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights since 2012 where she has worked in the area of Multiculturalism, Bioethics and Religion. She has also served as a member of the Ethics committee in different hospitals in the USA. Before coming to the USA, she worked in different hospitals in Mexico as a primary care physician, and was the health committee coordinator for FUNDESPEN, a non-profit that provides medical care to Mayan communities in rural areas of Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Assistant Professor of Theology and Resident Bioethicist, Belmont Abbey College

Gina Maria Noia, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Theology and Resident Bioethicist at Belmont Abbey College. She received her Ph.D. in Theology and Health Care Ethics from Saint Louis University. She has served as a clinical ethicist for OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL and St. Alexius Hospital in St. Louis, MO, and she is published in Christian Bioethics and the Journal of Moral Theology.

Vice President, Ethics and Church Relations, Ascension

Mark Repenshek is currently the Vice President of Ethics and Church Relations for Ascension. He earned his Ph.D. in Health Care Ethics at Saint Louis University at the Center for Health Care Ethics and completed his Masters in Theological Studies at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, WI. In addition to this role, Mark serves as adjunct faculty at Loyola University Chicago—Stritch School of Medicine Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics. He also serves Catholic Healthcare nationally including prior terms on the CHRISTUS Health Mission and Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors, The Catholic Health Association’s Vision (CHA) 2020 steering committee and as past-Chair of the Theologian and Ethicist Advisory Council for CHA. Mark’s research focuses on the intersection of Catholic moral and social teachings and modern debates in bioethics, organizational ethics for faith-based healthcare ministries, and outcomes based quantitative analyses of ethics consultation. He has published articles in The Hastings Center Report, The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Nursing Ethics, American Journal of Bioethics, HEC Forum, Health Progress, and Healthcare Ethics USA. He has co-authored a book in its second edition titled, An Introduction to Healthcare Ethics: Theological Foundations, Contemporary Issues, and Controversial Cases, through Anselm Academic. Mark is part of the inaugural class of 2011 Catholic Health Association’s Tomorrow’s Leaders Award. He is also a member of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and the Catholic Theological Society of America, and The Society of Christian Ethics.



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

Physician Credit
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations designates this educational activity for a maximum
of 6.5 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 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 6.5 credits for completing this activity.

Nurse Practitioner

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME. Individuals are responsible for checking with the AANPCP for further guidelines.
Nurse practitioners may receive up to 6.5 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). Determination of credit is pending.


• Discuss medical psychosocial realities of gender dysphoria.
• Identify anthropological and medical basis for medical and psychological interventions
• Identify medical outcomes of puberty suppression and gender reassignment.
• Discuss puberty suppression and gender reassignment and whether these interventions are in keeping with medical data and best patient outcomes.
• Research the medical literature on gender dysphoria in adult and pre-adult population.
• Describe a well-formed conscience and the basic human right to discharge one’s conscience.
• Identify threats to conscience and the basic human right to discharge one’s conscience.
• Identify protections and legal rights of medical providers in the face of threats to the right to serve.
• Discuss the responsibility medical professionals have in caring for the sick, including those who may expose them to heightened risk.
• Identify what bearing the role of justice, prudence, and the Hippocratic oath have on cases.
• Describe, through case examples, protocols that can help medical professionals secure the health of both the patient and the medical professional.
• Discuss whether and when a heightened personal risk may preclude a medical professional from providing medical care to patients that expose them to heightened risk.
• 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).
• Discuss case studies based on clinical encounters and analyze ethical course of action in light of the principles of proportionate and disproportionate means.
• Define and propose key ethical principles that should inform decision making in times of crisis.
• Discuss the importance of justice in distribution of goods.
• Identify the challenges posed to medicine when resources are stretched beyond the usual limits.
• Discuss the rights of patients to health care in the midst of a pandemic.
• Discuss the medical/ethical notion of quality of life.
• Identify potential pitfalls with the language of “medical/ethical quality of life” that may not be fruitful in clinical encounters.
• Describe to what degree disabilities have an impact on whether medical interventions should be pursued.
– Identify through case examples, how to apply the principles of proportionate means to the medical-ethical care offered to disabled patients


The National Association of Catholic Chaplains has approved this program for 6.75 Continuing Education Hours. Please 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]


Cathedral of St. Patrick

1621 Dilworth Rd E.
Charlotte, NC 28203

For More Information:
Amelia Arth, Conference Coordinator
[email protected]





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