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 past attendees of Converging Roads:
  • "I’m so glad I attended. It was so insightful and gave me more knowledge on how to study more about human dignity, disabled persons and the correct way to explain our duty to others (as health care providers to our patients)."
  • "It is edifying to be with so many people trying to live their faith in a field that constantly challenges the truth."
  • "Thus far in my (nascent) career, my Catholic and medical identities have unfortunately been largely separate. I’m confident that the knowledge I obtained at Converging Roads and my subsequent reflection will serve me well on my path towards becoming the Catholic physician I’m striving to be."

Health + Safety Guidelines

As part of our mission to uphold the sanctity of life and family, the St. John Paul II Foundation is committed to the health and safety of all conference participants. In order to protect you and your patients, we are following recommendations from our host facilities, the State of Minnesota, and the CDC, and we look forward to welcoming you to Converging Roads next spring!
  • We know that Converging Roads is an important ministry to you as health care professionals, and we desire to continue serving you through this conference. We are developing precautions to ensure adequate social distancing, minimize contact with high-touch surfaces, and maintain a safe and clean environment. More specific guidelines and recommendations will be publicized as we get closer to the date of the conference.
  • We are truly blessed to serve you, and please be assured of our prayers!
  • *Policy is subject to change; dependent on state and local guidelines at the time of the conference. 



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.

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, Social Worker/Chaplain certificates of completion can be requested upon registration for continuing education purposes.


  • The Dignity of the Person
  • Sister Terese Auer, OP, PhD
  • The Health Care Worker in an Era of Secular Medical Ethics
  • G. Kevin Donovan, MD, MA
  • Solidarity and Subsidiarity
  • Sister Mary Diana Dreger, OP, MD
  • Gender Dysphoria in Children and Adults: Science, Ideology, and Ethics
  • Paul Hruz, MD, PhD
  • Moral Decision-Making: Proportionate and Disproportionate Care
  • Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, PhD
  • Infertility & Surrogacy
  • Mary M. Paquette, MD; and Roland Millare, STD
  • Sacramental and Spiritual Care for the Dying: Suffering, Compassion, and Hope
  • Msgr. James P. Shea


8:00 AM
  • Mass
  • Most Rev. Bernard A. Hebda
8:30 AM
Check-In Begins
9:15 AM
Opening Remarks
9:25 - 10:20 AM
The Dignity of the Person
10:25 - 11:25 AM
Moral Decision-Making: Proportionate and Disproportionate Care
11:25 AM
11:40 AM - 12:40 PM
Solidarity and Subsidiarity
12:40 - 2:15 PM
Hippocratic Oath Luncheon
1:10 -2:10 PM
Sacramental and Spiritual Care for the Dying: Suffering, Compassion, and Hope
2:15 PM
2:35 - 3:35 PM
Gender Dysphoria in Children and Adults: Science, Ideology, and Ethics
3:40 - 4:40 PM
Infertility and Surrogacy
4:40 PM
4:55 - 5:55 PM
The Health Care Worker in an Era of Secular Medical Ethics
6:00 - 6:45 PM
Wine & Cheese Reception


Chair of Bioethics, Saint John Paul the Great High School

Sister Terese Auer, O.P., Ph.D. is the head of the bioethics department and a teacher at Saint John Paul the Great High School in Potomac Shores, Virginia.  She is a board member of Human Life International. Sister Terese received her B.A. Degree in English from Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, WI, and her Master’s and Doctoral Degrees in Philosophy from the Center for Thomistic Studies at the University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX. Sister Terese has taught at the high school and college levels for about 40 years.  She has also written two textbooks for high school students: The Human Person ~ Dignity Beyond Compare and Called to Happiness ~ Guiding Ethical Principles.

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.

Director of Shepherd’s Heart, St. John Paul II Foundation

Dr. Roland Millare, a native Houstonian, serves as the Director of Shepherd’s Heart Program. Additionally, Roland serves as the Chair of the Theology Department at St. John XXIII College Preparatory (Katy, TX). He has been teaching at the school since it opened in 2004. He also serves as an adjunct professor of theology for permanent deacon candidates at St. Mary’s Seminary. He attended St. Francis De Sales K-8th grade and he graduated from St. Thomas High School in 1999. He received a BA in Theology from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. He has a MA in Theological Studies from the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College (Alexandria, VA) and a Licentiate (STL) and Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD) in Dogmatic Theology (with a specialization in Sacramental Theology) at the Liturgical Institute of the University of St. Mary of the Lake (Mundelein, IL). He has published various theological articles and book reviews for the Adoremus Bulletin, Logos, Antiphon, New Blackfriars, and the Heythrop Journal. Roland enjoys the gift of life and love with his beautiful wife Veronica and their two daughters, Gabriella and Karolina, in Sugar Land.

Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Sister Mary Diana Dreger, OP, MD, is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Public Health in the Department of Internal Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies at Aquinas College, Nashville, Tennessee.  She received her B.S. in Biology and M.A. in Mathematics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, her M.D. from Vanderbilt University, and completed her residency training in internal medicine at Vanderbilt.  She is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.  As a practicing internist since 2004, she has cared for the sick, the poor, the undocumented, and the dying.  She has given over 200 presentations across the United States and in Canada to professional organizations and community groups on numerous topics related to medicine, ethics, and spirituality.

Director,Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics
Professor,Georgetown University Medical Center

G. Kevin Donovan, MD, MA, assumed the directorship of the Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University Medical School in 2012. In addition to his responsibilities as director, he is a professor in the Department of Pediatrics, codirects medical student education in ethics, bioethics education for resident physicians, and directs the ethics consultation service for MedSTAR Georgetown University Hospital, where he still participates in medical consultation for his specialty. Dr. Donovan was the founding director of the Oklahoma Bioethics Center and has three decades of experience in clinical bioethics and clinical medicine. He trained in pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. Before coming to Georgetown, he was a professor and vice chair of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine – Tulsa, where he practiced pediatric gastroenterology. He served on the ethics committees of multiple hospitals, as well as chair of the Institutional Research Ethics Board for 17 years. Dr. Donovan has been the medical ethics consultant to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulsa, chair of the bioethics section of the American Academy of Pediatrics and its Committee on Bioethics, as well as his state medical association, the Oklahoma Organ Sharing Network, the Oklahoma Genetics Advisory Council, and was founding member and first VP of the Oklahoma Association for Healthcare Ethics. Dr. Donovan was awarded the Humanism in Medicine award in 2005 from the Gold Foundation, which recognizes physicians who have successfully integrated humanism into the delivery of care to patients and families. He also received the Founder’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Research and Medicine, University of Tulsa, sponsored by the local chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, and was recently nominated for a Golden Apple Teaching Award in Georgetown’s School of Medicine.

President, University of Mary

Monsignor Shea was inaugurated in 2009 as the sixth president of the university and, at the age of 34, became the youngest college or university president in the United States. The oldest of eight children, Monsignor Shea grew up on a dairy and grain farm near Hazelton, North Dakota. He began his undergraduate work at Jamestown College, majoring in English and history. He then entered the seminary for the Diocese of Bismarck, earning a bachelor’s degree and a pontifical master’s degree (licentiate) in philosophy at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He studied classical Greek at the University of Texas at Austin and studied theology at the Gregorian and Lateran universities in Rome. He has studied management at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business and is also an alumnus of the Institutes for Higher Education at the Graduate School of Education, Harvard University. Monsignor Shea has worked with Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity while teaching religion at two inner-city elementary schools in Washington, D.C.  In Rome, he served as chaplain for the Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital and also at the Rome campus of the Center for Catholic Studies at the University of Saint Thomas. Following his ordination to the priesthood in 2002, he returned to North Dakota and served as an associate pastor in Bismarck and Mandan, and a chaplain and instructor at Saint Mary’s Central High School in Bismarck. He then served as pastor to parishes in Killdeer and Halliday (North Dakota), while teaching at Trinity High School in Dickinson. Deeply committed to the education and formation of young people, he has been an inspirational teacher and mentor for many students.



St. Mary's University Center

2540 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404

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





    7730 Westview
    Houston, TX 77055


    P.O. Box 5927
    Katy, TX 77491