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."




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, March 16, as well as additional access to the recordings (from noon CT on Sunday, March 17, to 11:59 pm CT on Wednesday, March 20).
  • 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.

  • 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, March 1. All refund requests made on or after March 2 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.


  • Legal Trends in Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia
  • Lucia A. Silecchia, JD
  • Navigating the Boundaries Between Ordinary and Extraordinary Care 
  • Deacon Alan Rastrelli, MD
  • Ethical Concerns for Persons with Disabilities and the Elderly
  • William Sullivan, MD, PhD
  • Revisiting the Neurological Criteria for Brain Death
  • Michel Accad, MD
  • Palliative and End of Life Care for Newborns and Infants
  • Jessica Clarke-Pounder, MD, FAAP
  • Sacramental and Spiritual Care for the Sick and Dying
  • Rev. Cory Catron, MDiv, MA, MS; Deacon Alan Rastrelli, MD; and more
  • Discerning Difficult Decisions at the End of Life 
  • Michel Accad, MD; Rev. Matthew Schneider, LC; and more


7:30 AM
Check-In Begins
8:00 AM
  • White Mass
9:15 AM
Opening Remarks
9:25 - 10:25 AM
Legal Trends in Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia  
10:30 - 11:30 AM
Navigating the Boundaries Between Ordinary and Extraordinary Care  
11:30 AM
11:45 AM - 12:45 PM
Revisiting the Neurological Criteria for Brain Death  
12:45 - 2:25 PM
Hippocratic Oath Luncheon
1:20 -2:20 PM
Sacramental and Spiritual Care for the Sick and Dying  
2:25 PM
2:45 - 3:45 PM
Ethical Concerns for Persons with Disabilities and the Elderly  
3:45 - 4:45 PM
Discerning Difficult Decisions at the End of Life  
4:45 PM
5:00 - 6:00 PM
Palliative and End of Life Care for Newborns and Infants  
6:00 - 6:45 PM
Wine & Cheese Reception


Attending Physician, Emmaus Catholic Hospice, St. Francis of Assisi Supportive Care, LLC

Deacon Alan Rastrelli, MD is an attending physician at Emmaus Catholic Hospice, St. Francis of Assisi Supportive Care, LLC in Colorado. He a member of the Catholic Medical Association. Dr. Rastrelli received a bachelor of science degree from St Mary’s University in San Antonio and his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX. He completed a 4-year residency in Anesthesia at Brooke Army Medical Center. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Rastrelli has gradually transitioned from Anesthesia into the field of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and is board certified. He was voted one of Denver Magazine’s 5280 Top Physicians in Hospice and Palliative Medicine five times from 2008-2012. In 2005, he was ordained a Permanent Deacon for the Archdiocese of Denver. Dr. Rastrelli has given over 80 presentations to many groups on end of life care. His ministry as a Physician and Deacon is to help patients and families survive death by easing the labor pains of their new birth into eternal life through integrating spiritual and medical intensive caring at the bedside. He has spoken out vigorously against physician assisted suicide and euthanasia, including testimonies before the State legislature and in multiple media interviews.

Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Accad practices cardiology and internal medicine in San Francisco. He holds a certificate in bioethics with distinction from the National Catholic Bioethics Center. He is the author of Moving Mountains: A Socratic Challenge to the Theory and Practice of Population Medicine. He has written numerous articles and editorials for medical and philosophical journals, including the Linacre Quarterly, The Thomist, BMJ, and the American Journal of Cardiology. He hosts the blog Alert and Oriented and co-hosts the podcast The Accad and Koka Report. He is a member of the St. Elias Melkite Church in San Jose, California. He is married and has 2 children.

Neonatologist, Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital

Jessica Clarke-Pounder, MD, FAAP, is a practicing Neonatologist and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC. She is a member of the Atrium Health Ethics Committee and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Clarke-Pounder received her medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and completed residency in Pediatrics and fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. She has been an attending neonatologist at Levine Children’s Hospital since 2013. She leads the Neonatal Comfort Care committee and is active in both nursing and resident education. She is a member of the hospital ethics committee and provides ethics consultations throughout the pediatric and adult hospital. She is passionate about the care of sick neonates and their families, especially those requiring palliative care. 

Chancellor, Belmont Abbey College

Abbot Placid Solari, O.S.B., a native of Richmond, Virginia, was professed as a monk of Belmont Abbey in 1975. He was ordained in 1980 by The Most Reverend Michael Begley, Bishop of Charlotte. He served at St. Michael Church in Gastonia, NC, from 1979-1982, and has assisted in various pastoral and educational ministries in the Diocese of Charlotte. In November of 1999, Abbot Placid was elected the 8th Abbot of Belmont Abbey. Abbot Placid is the Chancellor of Belmont Abbey College, and has previously served the college as an assistant professor in the Theology Department, as Vice President for Academic Affairs, and as interim President. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Bellarmine College in Louisville, KY, in 1974. He earned the S.T.B. degree in Theology from the International Benedictine College of Sant’ Anselmo in Rome in 1978, and a doctorate in Theology and Patristic Sciences from the Pontifical Patristic Institute “Augustinianum,” also in Rome.

Joseph P. Kennedy Senior Chair in Bioethics, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University

Dr. William F. Sullivan serves as the Joseph P. Kennedy Senior Chair in Bioethics, Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University. He brings to this position qualifications and experience in family medicine and a doctorate in philosophy (Bioethics). Prior to this appointment, he was Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. His clinical and academic work integrates ethics and primary health care of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). He is also interested in developing methods for effective collaborative research on complex clinical and ethical questions. He is also a member of the Order of Malta (in Obedience).

Professor of Law & Associate Dean for Faculty Research, the Catholic University of American, Columbus School of Law

Lucia A. Silecchia, JD, is Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Faculty Research at The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law in Washington, DC where she has taught since 1991. She is a member of the bars of New York State, Connecticut, the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court of the United States. Professor Silecchia received her JD degree from Yale Law School and her BA degree summa cum laude from Queens College (CUNY). Prof. Silecchia teaches and writes in the areas of elder law, Catholic social teaching, property and ecology. She is a faculty fellow at Catholic University’s Institute for Human Ecology and is a member of the advisory board for the Center for Law and the Human Person at the Columbus School of Law. She was a founding director of Catholic University’s International Human Rights Summer Law Program in Rome, and has provided expert assistance to the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations on matters pertaining to elderly persons, persons with disabilities, and ecology. She has testified about the dangers of assisted suicide before the City Council of the District of Columbia and has advocated on this issue in the popular press and in academic writings. Prof. Silecchia is also the author of “On Ordinary Times,” a bi-weekly column for diocesan newspapers across the country. She frequently provides commentary to television, radio and print media outlets on matters related to religion, environmental ethics, elder law, and Catholic social thought.

Pastor, St. Francis of Assisi Parish
Chaplain, Catholic Health Professionals of Charlotte

Rev. Cory Catron, MDiv, MA, MS, is a priest of the Diocese of Charlotte, Pastor of St. Francis of Assisi parish in Jefferson and St. Frances of Rome mission in Sparta, and an instructor of Theology at Belmont Abbey College. He is chaplain of the Catholic Health Professionals of Charlotte, a guild of the Catholic Medical Association. Fr. Carton received his M.A. in Theology from the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, OH, and his M.S. in Biomedical Ethics from the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. Fr. Catron has served as a parish priest since 2016, with ministry to the sick and dying in hospitals and various other facilities being among his principal responsibilities. He has also served on a hospital ethics committee and routinely performs individual patient ethics consultations for faithful around the Diocese of Charlotte.

Theology Department, Belmont Abbey College

Rev.  Matthew P. Schneider, LC, is a priest with the Legionaries of Christ and visiting assistant professor of theology and bioethics at Belmont Abbey College. In 2022, he completed a STD in moral theology titled A Catholic Theological Analysis of the Right to Informational Privacy at Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum. He completed his STL at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in 2019. He also writes extensively on moral theology topics in both academic and more popular publications: he has been published in Nova et Vetera, The Journal of Disability and Religion, The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Catholic Moral Theology, America, Public Discourse, Crux, Homiletic & Pastoral Review, ZENIT, Aleteia, and the National Catholic Register



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Accreditation Statement
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 Paul 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 Credits(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 nursing continuing professional development activity was approved by the Georgia Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission Accreditation. Criteria for Successful Completion: Contact Hours awarded commensurate with participation and submission of completed participant evaluation form. Activity ID 101040540 has been approved for 7 contact hours.

Click here for full CME/CNE details

The National Association of Catholic Chaplains has approved this program for 7.25 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. 

Social Workers and Counselors
If you are seeking Social Worker or Counselor continuing education credits, we can provide you with a certificate which states that you completed 7 hours. Please select the General Admission ticket option and request a certificate of completion on your registration form. For questions, please email Conference Coordinator Heather at [email protected]


The Cathedral of Saint Patrick

1621 Dilworth Road East
Charlotte, NC 28203

For More Information:
Heather Grimes, Conference Coordinator
[email protected]





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