• FOR LIFE AND FAMILY

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."

REGISTRATION

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT

In-Person Ticket Options:
  • Physicians/Physician Assistants: $159
  • Nurses/Nurse Practitioners: $139
  • General Admission*: $85
  • Medical residents, clergy, or religious*: $75
  • Student Scholarship Rate**: $15
Online Ticket Options:
  • Online tickets include access to the livestream on Saturday, August 17, as well as additional access to the recordings (from noon CST on Sunday, August 18, to 11:59 pm CST on Wednesday, August 21).
 
  • Physicians/Physician Assistants: $129
  • Nurses/Nurse Practitioners: $109
  • General Admission*: $55
  • Medical residents, clergy, or religious*: $45
  • 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 and admission for 1 organizational representative  
  • Ministry/Non-Profit (including CME/CNE credits): $180
  • Ministry/Non-Profit (not including CME/CNE credits)*: $105
  • Vendor/For-Profit (including CME/CNE credits): $230
  • Vendor/For-Profit (not including CME/CNE credits)*: $155
 
  • *Not eligible for CME/CNE credits, however, Chaplain certificates of completion can be requested upon registration for continuing education purposes.

Sponsors:
  • If you and/or your organization is interested in joining our mission as a supporting sponsor, please click here for the Sponsorship Form. You can also submit the form online by clicking here.
 
  • For questions or more information, please contact the conference coordinator at [email protected].

Student Scholarships:
  • Undergraduate, graduate, nursing, and medical students are eligible to register for Converging Roads at the discounted rate above through the Dr. Mini Vettical Scholarship. If you are a student currently enrolled in classes and would like to attend the conference, please complete our student scholarship form prior to registering for the conference (click here).
 
  • If you are interested in providing a scholarship for a student to attend Converging Roads, you can do so at the time of registration or by clicking here.

Refund Information:
  • If you are no longer able to attend the conference, after purchasing your ticket, you may choose to transfer your registration fees to a student in need, or request a refund.
 
  • All refunds must be requested 2 weeks prior to the conference. The last day to request a refund is Friday, August 2. All refund requests made on or after August 3 will not be accepted, but the funds will automatically be transferred to a student in need. Please email [email protected] to transfer your registration or request a refund.

TOPICS

  • The Conjugal Relationship and its Relationship to Love and Sexuality
  • Irene Alexander, PhD
  •  
  • NaProTechnology and Human Flourishing
  • Sr. Renee Mirkes, OSF, PhD
  •  
  • Fertility Awareness Based Methods and the Treatment of Infertility
  • Marguerite Duane, MD, MHA, FAAFP
  •  
  •  
  • Treating the Female Patient Through Restorative Medicine
  • Jamie Hernandez, MD, FACOG, CFCMC
  •  
  • Spiritual and Familial Support when Suffering with Infertility 
  • Marguerite Duane, MD, MHA, FAAFP, Jamie Hernandez, MD, FACOG, CFCMC, Sr. Renee Mirkes, OSF, PhD
  •  
  • Science and Ethics of Surrogacy
  • Kallie Fell, MS, BSN, RN

 

 

SCHEDULE

7:30 AM
Check-in Begins
8:00 AM
  • Mass
9:15 AM
Opening Remarks
9:25 - 10:25 AM
The Conjugal Relationship and its Relationship to Love and Sexuality
10:25 AM
Break
10:35 - 11:35 AM
NaProTechnology and Human Flourishing
11:35 AM
Break
11:45 AM - 12:45 PM
Fertility Awareness Based Methods and the Treatment of Infertility
12:45 - 2:20 PM
Hippocratic Oath Luncheon
1:15 - 2:15 PM
Treating the Female Patient Through Restorative Medicine
2:20 PM
Break
2:40 - 3:40 PM
Spiritual and Familial Support When Suffering with Infertility
3:40 PM
Break
3:50 - 4:50 PM
Science and Ethics of Surrogacy
5:00 - 5:45 PM
Wine & Cheese Reception

Speakers

MOST REV. MICHAEL G. DUCA
Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of Baton Rouge, LA

Michael Gerard Duca, a native of Dallas, Texas, was ordained a priest on April 29, 1978, for the Diocese of Dallas.  On December 20, 2004, he was conferred the Title of Reverend Monsignor.  He was called to the order of bishop on April 1, 2008, for service in North Louisiana.  On May 19, 2008, he was ordained and installed as the second Bishop of the Diocese of Shreveport.  On June 26, 2018, he was appointed as Bishop-designate for the Diocese of Baton Rouge and installed as the 6th Bishop on August 24, 2018. Bishop Duca attended Holy Trinity Seminary in Dallas from 1970 to 1978 and also studied in Rome from 1994 to 1996 at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas-Angelicum University where he received his License in Canon Law. During his active ministry as priest and prior to his appointment as diocesan bishop, Bishop Duca served in many different parishes in the Dallas area, including:  All Saints Catholic Church, St. Patrick Catholic Church and St. Luke Catholic Church.  He also previously served on a diocesan level in the Diocese of Dallas as Vocations Director, member of the Personnel Board, Campus Minister at Southern Methodist University, member of the Presbyteral Council, member of Board of Consultors, and Director of Ongoing Formation of Priests.  From 1996 to 2008, he served as Rector at Holy Trinity Seminary in Dallas. Bishop Duca presently serves as a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops and Immediate Past President of the Louisiana Interchurch Conference.  He serves as a trustee to Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans and St. Joseph Seminary, Covington, LA, as well as serving on the University of Dallas Board of Trustees.  He is a member of the St. Francis Medical Center Board of Directors, Monroe, LA, the Southeast Pastoral Institute (SEPI) Board of Directors, Miami, FL, the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, the Knights of Columbus-Fourth Degree, and the Knights of Peter Claver-Third & Fourth Degree.  In 2008, Bishop Duca received the Bishop Lynch High School Alumnus of the Year Award; in 2013 he received the University of Dallas’ Distinguished Alumni Award and in 2018 he received the Bishop Lynch High School Legacy Award.

MARGUERITE DUANE, MD, MHA, FAAFP
Co-Founder and Executive Director, FACTS

Dr. Marguerite Duane, a board certified family physician, is co-founder and Executive Director of FACTS – the Fertility Appreciation Collaborative to Teach the Science, an organization dedicated to educating healthcare professionals and students about the scientifically valid natural or fertility awareness based methods of family planning.  She is currently completing a primary care research fellowship with a focus on fertility awareness at the University of Utah. She also serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Georgetown University, where she directs an introductory course on fertility awareness based methods and their role in women’s health and family planning.  Dr. Duane practices full-spectrum family medicine at Modern Mobile Medicine, a direct primary care house-calls based practice in the DC metropolitan area. Dr. Duane is the past-president of the St. Giuseppe Moscatti Guild of the Catholic Medical Association in the Archdiocese of Washington, DC. She formerly served as the medical director of the Spanish Catholic Center of Catholic Charities, non-profit community health centers that care for an almost exclusively poor and uninsured population in the DC metropolitan area. Dr. Duane has also previously served on the boards of both the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the FMEC. Dr. Duane received her M.D. degree with recognition in primary care from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and completed her Family Medicine residency at Lancaster General Hospital in Lancaster, PA. She received a Bachelor of Science with Honors degree and a Master of Health Administration degree from Cornell University in 1992 and 1994, respectively.   Dr. Duane has been recognized for her leadership efforts by the American Board of Family Medicine which named her as a 1998 Pisacano Scholar, and by the American Academy of Family Physicians which awarded her the AAFP Bristol Meyers Squibb Graduate Medical Education Award in 2002. Dr. Duane is trained as a Creighton, FEMM and NeoFertility Medical consultant, as well as a TeenSTAR educator. She has published articles on the effectiveness of fertility awareness based methods for family planning and the use of apps for tracking fertility.  She has also developed and delivered multiple presentations on the use of fertility awareness based methods for family planning and women’s health.   Dr. Duane balances her career as a teacher and Family Physician, with her role as a mother and wife. She is proud to be accompanied on this life’s journey by her husband and fellow family physician, Dr. Kenneth Lin, and they are delighted to be the parents of 4 young children.

JAMIE HERNANDEZ, MD, FACOG, CFCMC

Dr. Jamie Hernandez, a Louisiana native, is an OBGYN in Sugar Land, Texas. She earned her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, medical degree from The University of Texas at Houston, and completed her residency at the University of Illinois/OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL. At Pope Paul VI Institute and Creighton University, Dr. Hernandez completed a medical and surgical NaProTECHNOLOGY fellowship. Dr. Hernandez is a member of the American Academy of FertilityCare Professionals, American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, the American Congress of Obstetrics & Gynecology, American Academy of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Catholic Medical Association, and a Fellow of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (FACOG). Dedicated to providing holistic, comprehensive, and restorative services for women from adolescence through menopause, Dr. Hernandez is a member of Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group Caritas Women's Care in Sugar Land. As one of only a handful of fellowship-trained NaProTECHNOLOGY surgeons in the United States, Dr. Hernandez uses this technology to address and treat a full range of gynecologic health concerns.

IRENE ALEXANDER, PHD
Associate Professor of Theology, University of Dallas

Irene Alexander is an Associate Professor of Theology at the University of Dallas in Irving, Texas. She received her B.A. in Philosophy and Theology at the University of Scranton, her M.A. in Theology at Ave Maria University, and her Ph.D. in Moral Theology at Ave Maria University.

SR. RENEE MIRKES, OSF, PhD
Saint Paul VI Institute

Sister Renée Mirkes, OSF, PhD is a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, Manitowoc, WI. She serves as director of the Center for NaProEthics [the ethics division of the Saint Paul VI Institute, Omaha, NE] and was editor of its ethics publication, The NaProEthics Forum, from 1996 to 2002. Together with an undergraduate degree in music education and an undergraduate and master degree in vocal performance from Wisconsin Conservatory and University of Michigan School of Music, Sister Renee has a graduate degree in theology from the University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX and a doctorate degree in theological ethics from Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI (1995). In her current position, she deals with procreative and birth ethics through consultations, publications, and public speaking. To these commitments Sr. Renée brings experience in clinical ethics as well as broad experience in bioethics as a research fellow from 1987-1990 with the National Catholic Bioethics Center (formerly the Pope John Center: Houston, TX). One of her recent projects is the designed execution of two programs to be used in dioceses for clergy education days that deal with the ethics of family planning and reproductive technologies. These day-long conferences are dedicated to understanding the Church’s rich moral tradition in the areas of marriage, family and sexuality as embodied in the FertilityCare System and NaProTECHNOLOGY and its implications for priestly ministry. Sister Renée was appointed to the Nebraska Bioethics Advisory Commission by University of Nebraska President L. Dennis Smith in 2000. She is a founding member and serves on the board of Nebraska Coalition for Ethical Research. Sister Renee is currently serving on the national Rights of Conscience (ROC) Working Committee and its subcommittee on state ROC legislation. She has also been appointed chair of the Legislative Committee of the American Academy of FertilityCare Professionals and spearheads its website focus on protecting healthcare rights of conscience in reproductive medicine. Sister Renee serves on the board of directors for the Twin Cities FertilityCare Center. Recently, the Center for NaProEthics has been approved as a host organization for the Blackstone Legal Fellowship Program and Sister Renee as on-site director of the Phase II practicum. Sister Renee has published articles in The Journal of Philosophy and Medicine; Ethics & Medics; New Blackfriars; The Thomist; Linacre Quarterly; The American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly; Catholic Answer; Our Sunday Visitor; The NaProEthics Forum; National Catholic Bioethics Center Quarterly; Ethics and Medicine, and The Catholic Response.

KALLIE FELL, MS, BSN, RN
Executive Director, Center for Bioethics and Culture

Kallie started her professional career as a scientist in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center utilizing a Master of Science degree in Animal Sciences with an emphasis on Reproductive Physiology and Molecular Biology from Purdue University. While assisting in the investigation of endometriosis and pre-term birth, Kallie simultaneously pursued a degree in nursing. During her studies, Kallie became interested in the work of the Center for Bioethics and Culture. Kallie is passionate about women’s health and continues to work, as she has for the past eight years, as a perinatal nurse. She has worked with the CBC since 2018, first as a volunteer writer, then as our staff Research Associate, and now as the Executive Director. In 2021, Kallie co-directed the CBC’s first documentary on “transgender medicine” titled Trans Mission: What’s the Rush to Reassign Gender? In 2022 Kallie co-wrote and co-produced the second film by the CBC on the topic, The Detransition Diaries: Saving Our Sisters and published groundbreaking research studying the experience of gestational surrogate mothers in America. Kallie hosts the popular podcast Venus Rising and is the Program Director for the Paul Ramsey Institute. Her latest film, The Lost Boys: Searching for Manhood was released in January 2024. Her first book, co-authored with Jennifer Lahl, The Detransition Diaries (published by Ignatius Press) was published in February 2024.

SPONSORS

CONTINUING EDUCATION

Counselors
If you are seeking Counselor continuing education credits, we can provide you with a certificate which states that you completed 6 hours.  Please select the General Admission ticket option and request a certificate of completion on your registration form. For questions, please email Conference Coordinator Cameron Kelly at [email protected]

Venue

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University

5414 Brittany Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

For More Information:
Cameron Kelly, Conference Coordinator
832.779.1070
[email protected]

CONTACT US

  • PHONE

    832.779.1070

  • PHYSICAL ADDRESS

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

  • MAILING ADDRESS

    P.O. Box 5927
    Katy, TX 77491

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