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

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
    • Medical residents, clergy, or religious*: $69
    • Student Scholarship Rate**: $15
  • Online Ticket Options:
  • This will include access to the livestream on Saturday, April 10, as well as approximately 72 hours of access to the recordings (from noon MT on Sunday, April 11, to 11:59 pm MT on Wednesday, April 14).
    • Physician/Physician Assistant: $119
    • Nurse/Nurse Practitioner: $99
    • General Admission*: $49
    • Medical resident, clergy, or religious*: $39
    • Student Scholarship Rate**: $0
    • *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.


  • Gender Dysphoria in Children & Adults: Science, Ideology, and Ethics
  • Paul Hruz, MD, PhD
  • Natural Law and Medicine in a Pluralistic Society
  • Ashley K. Fernandes, MD, PhD, FAAP
  • Rights of Conscience and Religious Liberty in the Midst of Consumer Driven Medicine
  • Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila
  • The Duty to Care When Facing Personal Risk
  • Matthew R. Kenney, PhD
  • Artificial Intelligence and the Common Good: Avoiding a Form of Barbarism
  • Dominique J. Monlezun, MD, PhD, PhD, MPH
  • Navigating Moral Distress as a Practitioner: Lessons from Palliative Care
  • Sarah E. Hetue Hill, PhD; and Natalie Rodden, MD 
  • Proportionate & Disproportionate: When Medical Decision-Making is Shared Responsibility
  • Sarah E. Hetue Hill, PhD


7:45 AM
  • Check-In/Registration Opens
8:30 AM
Opening Remarks
8:45 - 9:40 AM
Natural Law and Medicine in a Pluralistic Society    
9:45 - 10:40 AM
Proportionate and Disproportionate: When Medical Decision-Making is a Shared Responsibility    
10:55- 11:50 AM
The Duty to Care When Facing Personal Risk  
11:50 AM - 1:20 PM
Hippocratic Oath Luncheon
12:20 - 1:15 PM
Artificial Intelligence and the Common Good: Avoiding a Form of Barbarism  
1:40 - 2:35 PM
Gender Dysphoria in Children and Adults: Science, Ideology, and Ethics  
2:40 - 3:35 PM
Navigating Moral Distress as a Practitioner: Lessons From Palliative Care  
3:55 - 4:50 PM
Rights of Conscience and Religious Liberty in the Midst of Consumer Driven Medicine  
5:30 - 6:15 PM
White Mass
6:15 - 7:00 PM
Wine & Cheese Reception


Palliative Medicine Physician, Intermountain Healthcare

Dr. Natalie King is a palliative medicine physician who specializes in caring for patients with serious illness and nearing the end of life. She is originally from Indiana and attended the University of Notre Dame. While in medical school at Tulane University, she founded the Catholic Medical Association Student Section. She completed internal medicine residency at the University of Utah and palliative medicine fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. After fellowship she worked as a palliative medicine physician in Denver, Colorado, helping lead her hospital’s ethics committee and teach trainees. She completed a master’s degree in bioethics from The Ohio State University, partnering with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to improve education around palliative care for Catholic laity. She has organized a forum for the Catholic Medical Association on end-of-life issues. She is passionate about education and advocacy about palliative medicine and ethical issues relating to serious illness and the end-of-life and is set to have a book released by Ave Maria Press in fall of 2024. She lives with her husband and daughter in Salt Lake City, Utah, and works at Intermountain Healthcare.

Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Director, Center for Bioethics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Dr. Fernandes received an M.D. from The Ohio State University, a PhD in Philosophy from Georgetown University, and an MA in Philosophy from Johns Hopkins University, with a focus on bioethics. He directs ethics education for pediatric residents at Nationwide Children's Hospital. His scholarly interests include Catholic Christian bioethics, Medicine and the Holocaust studies, pediatric ethics, and philosophical anthropology as it relates to medical practice. He has presented his work at international forums, and is the author of scores of peer-reviewed publications and three book chapters. After a decade as a hospitalist, he is now an academic primary care pediatrician and has been an expert witness in court cases defending the rights of Christian healthcare professionals and prolife organizations. Dr. Fernandes is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Pediatricians, an elected member of the AAP's national Executive Committee on Bioethics, a member of the AOA Medical Honor Society, and a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, receiving Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine award twice - in 2020 and in 2010. He has been awarded OSU's highest honors for teaching, including the Award in Mentorship, Professor of the Year award, and Master Teacher Award. He is an active member of the Catholic Medical Association and is part of their national speaker board, and a member of Ohio Right to Life's Board of Trustees. Outside of medicine, his interests include hiking in the National Parks, history, travel, and tennis. He lives with his wife and two boys in Dublin, Ohio. The views he expresses are those of his own and not those of his employers.

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.

Regional Vice President, Mission Integration, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System & The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

Sarah Hill, PhD is the Regional Vice President of Mission Integration for CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System and the Children's Hospital of San Antonio. She is an executive committee member of the Supportive Care Coalition, a coalition of 19 Catholic health systems committed to advancing palliative care. She is also a member of the University of Pennsylvania's Palliative and Advanced Illness Research Center's External Advisory board, the Catholic Health Association's Theology and Ethics Committee, and the Florida Catholic Conferencce of Bishop's End of Life Care Committee. Dr. Hill received her B.S. degree from Marquette University, her M.A. from the University of West Florida and her PhD in Health Care Ethics from St. Louis University. Dr. Hill has delivered presentations including keynote addresses on ethics and palliative care at various national and regional events including the Catholic Health Association Annual Assembly, the Center to Advance Palliative Care annual assembly, the American Society on Aging, and the Supportive Care Congress and has written articles and a book chapter on ethics and palliative care.

Archbishop of Denver

Samuel J. Aquila was born on September 24, 1950, in Burbank, California. He was ordained to the priesthood in Denver, Colorado, on June 5, 1976, and served in parish ministry for 11 years. In 1987, he began graduate studies at San Anselmo University in Rome, earning a Licentiate in Sacramental Theology in 1990. He served as Director for the Office of Liturgy and Master of Ceremonies in the Archdiocese of Denver from 1990 until 1995. He served the archdiocese as Co-director for Continuing Education for Priests, as an advisor to the Bishop’s Committee on the Liturgy, and as Assistant Secretary for Catholic Education before being named Secretary for Catholic Education, a position he held from 1995 until 1999. From 1999-2001, he served as the first Rector of St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver and Chief Executive Officer of Our Lady of the New Advent Theological Institute. In 2000, he was named a Prelate of Honor by Pope John Paul II, receiving the honorary title of Monsignor. He was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Fargo on June 12, 2001, and his Episcopal Ordination Mass was celebrated at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fargo on August 24, 2001. On March 18, 2002, he became Bishop of Fargo, and from 2005 to 2006 he also acted as Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Sioux Falls. On July 18, 2012 he was installed as the Archbishop of Denver, returning to lead the Archdiocese where he had originally served as a priest for 25 years. Archbishop Aquila serves on numerous boards and committees, including the Papal Foundation, the Bishops’ Advisory Council for the Institute for Priestly Formation and the Board of Trustees for the Augustine Institute. He is a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in which he has served as a member of various committees. Archbishop Aquila’s episcopal motto comes from the Blessed Virgin Mary’s instructions at Cana: “Do whatever he tells you (Jn 2:5).”

Professor of Bioethics, Italian Pontifical Athenauem Regina Apostolorum and Mexican Universidad Anahuac, Professor (Adjunct Asst.) of Cardiology, UT MD Anderson and UT-Houston, Chief Data Scientist, Global System Analytics & Structures

Dominique J. Monlezun, MD, PhD, PhD, MPH, is Professor of Bioethics at the Italian Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum and Mexican Universidad Anáhuac, Professor (Adjunct Asst.) of Cardiology at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center and UT-Houston McGovern Medical School, Chief Data Scientist at Global System Analytics & Structures, Research Scholar for the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics & Human Rights, and Principal Investigator and Senior Data Scientist for over 50 biomedical randomized and cohort trials. He is a member of the American College of Physicians and AΩA Honor Medical Society. Dr. Monlezun received his MD from Tulane University School of Medicine, his first AI-focused PhD in Global Health Management & Policy from Tulane University School of Public Health, and his second  PhD in Bioethics from Regina Apostolorum. Dr. Monlezun has co-authored nearly 400 peer-reviewed manuscripts, conference presentations, and book chapters in addition to the first four comprehensive books on AI-driven human rights and equity in global bioethics, multicultural metaphysics, healthcare system management, and global public health, while practicing and teaching medicine, public health, data science, and ethics for graduate students on 4 continents.

Vice President, Ethics Integration and Education, Ascension

Dr. Matthew Kenney serves as Vice President, Ethics Integration and Education for Ascension, one of the largest Catholic healthcare systems in the United States.  In this role he provides ethics and theological leadership, education, analysis and review for Ascension’s Leadership Community, and helps to guide Health Ministries in working through the social, pastoral, ethical, clinical and organizational implications of Catholic teaching and the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. Dr. Kenney has served in the field of Catholic healthcare ethics and mission integration for more than 20 years. Prior to joining Ascension, he served as the Vice President of Mission and Ethics at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, CT, He has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in bioethics, advanced practice nursing ethics and theology. He has presented ethics grand rounds and workshops on a wide range of bioethical issues. Dr. Kenney holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and humanities and a master’s degree in religious studies from Providence College and a Ph.D. in systematic theology and bioethics from the Center for Health Care Ethics at Duquesne University.



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 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 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™ 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). 7 contact hours approved.


• Define religious liberty and rights of conscience and discuss their foundation and importance to individuals and institutions.
• Identify the challenges to these rights resulting from consumer-driven medicine and a secularized culture for individuals and institutions.
• Discuss legal protection offered to medical professionals and institutions including current laws and resources available to medical professionals
• Describe the challenges of a Christian healthcare provider in serving the whole person in an era of secular medical ethics.
• Identify means of maintaining the integrity of faith and reason in the current cultural environment.
• List ways for the medical professional to maintain a proper lived understanding of freedom and conscience in the face of a secular medical ethic that sees assisted suicide as a legitimate medical intervention at the end of life.
• Define proportionate and disproportionate and provide specific examples
• 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 how decision making is impacted when it is shaped by the perspective and input of numerous parties with varied expertise.
• Discuss medical psychosocial realities of gender dysphoria.
• Identify anthropological and medical basis for medical and psychological interventions.
• Evaluate medical outcomes of puberty suppression and gender reassignment and whether these interventions are in keeping with medical data and best patient outcomes.
• Review the medical literature on gender dysphoria in adult and pre-adult population.
• Describe capacity and how we determine it clinically and how to determine what patient populations fall into the category of diminished capacity.
• Identify the developments in AI within medicine.
• Explore potential ethical and unethical uses of AI in medicine
• Describe the future of medicine in light of technological developments within the field of AI
• Discuss the importance of walking with a patient at the end of life.
• Identify specific measures which can assist patients to embrace peace.
• Share examples of struggle and success in accompanying patients and being a compassionate presence in the midst of suffering.
• Identify the responsibility medical professionals have in caring for the sick, including those who may expose them to heightened risk.
• Discuss what bearing the role of justice, prudence, and the Hippocratic oath have on cases.
• Cite examples in case studies and protocols that can help medical professionals secure the health of both the patient and the medical professional.
• Determine if and when a heightened personal risk may preclude a medical professional from providing medical care to patients that expose them to heightened risks.


The National Association of Catholic Chaplains has approved this program for 7.0 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]


Risen Christ Catholic Parish

3060 S Monaco Pkwy
Denver, C0 80222

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





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