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."
  • "It is edifying to be with so many people trying to live their faith in a field that constantly challenges the truth."
  • "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 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 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)
  • Online Ticket Options:
  • This will include access to the livestream on Saturday, April 17, as well as approximately 72 hours of access to the recordings (from noon CT on Sunday, April 18, to 11:59 pm CT on Wednesday, April 21).
    • 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)

Exhibitor Opportunities:
Includes 1 exhibitor booth and 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.
  • **Not eligible for CME/CNE credits


  • The Hippocratic Oath: Countering a Secularist Bioethics
  • Ashley K. Fernandes, MD, PhD
  • End of Life Decision Making and Palliative Care
  • Sarah E. Hetue Hill, PhD
  • Accompanying Patients in the Midst of Suffering
  • Father Philip G. Bochanski
  • Public Health and Pandemics: Economics, Access to Care, and Health Care Disparities
  • Dominique J. Monlezun, MD, PhD, PhD, MPH
  • Moral Decision Making in Difficult Situations
  • Sarah E. Hetue Hill, PhD and Dominique J. Monlezun, MD, PhD, PhD, MPH
  • Is There Such a Thing as “Catholic Medicine”?
  • Kathryn A. Karges, MD and Theodore J. Trumble, II, MD, CMD
  • The Physiological Impacts of Contraceptives
  • Michael S. Parker, MD


8:00 AM
  • Mass
  • Check-In/Registration Opens
9:15 AM
Opening Remarks
9:25 - 10:20 AM
The Hippocratic Oath: Countering a Secularist Bioethics
10:25 - 11:25 AM
End of Life Decision Making and Palliative Care
11:40 AM - 12:40 PM
Accompanying Patients in the Midst of Suffering
12:40 - 2:15 PM
Hippocratic Oath Luncheon
1:10 - 2:10 PM
Is There Such a Thing as "Catholic Medicine"?
2:40 - 3:40 PM
The Physiological Impacts of Contraceptives
3:40 - 4:40 PM
Public Health and Pandemics: Economics, Access to Care, and Health Care Disparities
4:55 - 5:55 PM
Moral Decision Making in Difficult Situations
6:00 - 6:45 PM
Wine & Cheese Reception


President, St. John Paul II Foundation

Arland K. Nichols, Ph.D. (cand.) is president and founder of the St. John Paul II Foundation. Early in his career as an educator and non-profit executive 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. Arland launched the St. John Paul II Foundation in 2014 and he is author of the 4th edition of the Handbook on Critical Life Issues recently 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 ten children, Arland is blessed to lead the St. John Paul II Foundation as it serves, educates, and supports medical professionals, married couples, and clergy.

Professor of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University

Ashley K. Fernandes, MD, PhD, is the Associate Director of the Center for Bioethics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and a Professor of Pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Dr. Fernandes received an MD 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 the 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.

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.

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.

Executive Director, Courage International

Father Philip G. Bochanski, MDiv, MA is a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Executive Director of Courage International. He is a member of the Catholic Medical Association. Father Bochanski received the degrees of Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theology from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Overbrook, in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. Father Bochanski has more than twenty-two years’ experience in pastoral care, including parish, nursing home and hospital settings, as well as 11 years as chaplain for the Courage apostolate, which provides pastoral support for people who experience same-sex attractions and desire to live a chaste life. He is the author of numerous talks, articles and book chapters on pastoral care, including the chapter “Pastoral Care of the Sick and Dying” in Catholic Witness in Health Care: Practicing Medicine in Truth and Love” (Travaline & Mitchell, eds., CUA Press, 2016).

Geriatrician and Certified Medical Director, Trumen Physicians and Associates

Dr. Trumble is a practicing Geriatrician and Certified Medical Director at Trumen Physicians and Associates in Houston Texas. He is a member of the Catholic Medical Association, Texas Medical Association, The Harris County Medical Society, AMDA-The Society for Post-actue and Long Term Care Medicine, The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine and The American Geriatrics Society. Dr. Trumble received his B.A. degree at The University of Texas, his M.D. from McGovern Medical School in Houston Texas and Fellowship in Geriatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics and Hospice/Palliative Care Medicine. He is medical director for several nursing homes, a hospice in the Houston area and is the attending physician at 2 convents for retired religious sisters.

Kathryn A. Karges, MD
Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine

Kathryn A. Karges, MD, FACOG is an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology with the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.  Her practice,  Baylor St. Luke’s Caritas Women’s Care, is located in Sugar Land, Texas. She is a member of the Catholic Medical Association, the Christian Medical and Dental Association, and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dr. Karges received her Bachelor's of Science in Biology from the University of Richmond in Virginia and her Doctorate of Medicine from The University of Maryland in Baltimore.  She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, followed by a 1 year fellowship in NaProTechnology and The Creighton Model system of Natural Family Planning, in Omaha, Nebraska.  She has been in private practice in the Houston, Texas area since 2012.  Her practice specializes in providing whole – woman, patient- centered care.  The practice utilizes all systems of Natural Family Planning to help patients realize their family goals, assists couples who have recurrent pregnancy loss or suffer from infertility, and ethically provides care for women who suffer from a variety of gynecologic disorders.  She also is part of the Abortion Pill Reversal Network.  She has been invited to speak at several Catholic conferences and groups in the past. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and 3 dogs. She tolerates her son’s pet snake.

President, National Catholic Medical Association

Dr. Michael Parker attended Kenyon College where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelors degree in Biology. In the fall of 1985, he enrolled at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, graduating with his doctorate in 1989. Dr. Parker then completed his residency training at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1993. Dr. Parker is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (1995). He is also trained as a Natural Family Planning medical consultant through The Saint Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction in affiliation with Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Based on his Catholic and Pro-life beliefs, he changed his practice to Natural Family Planning only, in 2004. Dr. Parker is currently the System Medical Director for Employed OB/GYN Hospitalists for the Mount Carmel Health System in Columbus, Ohio. Along with members of the Catholic Medical Association of Central Ohio and the Order of Malta, he helped establish the Order of Malta Center of Care in Columbus which provides free medical care to the homeless and underserved. As a member of the National Catholic Medical Association, he has served many roles including Guild President, Regional Director, Board Secretary, Treasurer, Vice- president and is currently serves as the President. Dr. Parker, his wife and six children, are active in Pro-Life Causes and local Catholic Medical Association. Parker is an active member of the Order of Malta.



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 Paull 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 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. 

-Discuss the importance of walking with a patient at the end of life.  
-Identify specific measures which can assist patients to embrace peace.  
-Articulate examples of struggle and success in accompanying patients and being a compassionate presence in the midst of suffering.
-Discuss the history of the Hippocratic Oath and its practical implications for medicine that is dignified, compassionate, and loving.
-Compare medicine rooted in an aggressive secularism with medicine rooted in the Hippocratic Oath.
-Describe how physician assisted suicide and euthanasia are a variance with the oath and care for the whole person.
-List the key ethical principles that guide decision making when patients are no longer aggressively pursuing curative  measures. 
-Identify case examples that apply ethical principles in patients pursuing palliative care. 
-Describe the role of palliative care in medicine today. 
-Use ethical principles for a challenging case of acute illness. 
-Identify course of treatment options to secure desired patient outcomes. 
-Articulate the best ethical and medical practices for treating patients. 
-Study whether patient outcomes are impacted by robust spiritual and ethical convictions. 
-Identify how medical professionals can improve patient outcomes and scores. 
-List characteristics of model doctors and nurses who exemplify a strong commitment to the whole patient and the positive  outcomes of this commitment. 
-Identify how economic factors impact medical care and play a role in decision making at all levels. 
-Discuss the role of social determinants of health in the provision of medical care. 
-Discuss how medical professionals can overcome barriers to optimal patient outcomes. 
-List principles that can guide medical professionals in the midst of pandemics. 
-Discuss the research related to the impact of contraceptives on incidences of cancer. 
-Analysis the literature concerning the role of venous thromboembolism, stroke, and contraceptives.
-Research the established medical literature to discuss the role of contraceptives on heart health for women of child bearing age.


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]

Licensed Professional Counselors
This activity can offer 5 Continuing Education Hours (presentations on The Hippocratic Oath: Countering a Secularist Bioethics, End of Life Decision Making and Palliative Care,Accompanying Patients in the Midst of Suffering, Moral Decision Making in Difficult Situations, and Is There Such a Thing as “Catholic Medicine”?.) 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  
This activity can offer 7 Continuing Education 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].


St. John Paul II Foundation

7730 Westview
Houston, TX 77055

For More Information:
Erin Ellwanger, Conference Coordinator
[email protected]





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


    P.O. Box 5927
    Katy, TX 77491