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, April 20, as well as additional access to the recordings (from noon CT on Sunday, April 21, to 11:59 pm CT on Wednesday, April 24).
  • 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, April 5. All refund requests made on or after April 6 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.


  • Hope and the Redemptive Meaning of Suffering 
  • Roland Millare, STD

  • Wise and Hopeful Preparation for the End of Life
  • Rev. Columba Thomas OP, MD; Phuc Vo, DO; and Gwyneth Anne Spaeder, MD 

  • A Virtuous Approach to Vaccine Development and Use of Vaccines
  • Gwyneth Anne Spaeder, MD 

  • Care for the Health Care Professional
  • Rev. Columba Thomas OP, MD

  • Understanding Physical and Developmental Disabilities in Light of a Christian Anthropology
  • Joseph Dutkowsky, MD

  • Encountering Mercy and Grace within Pediatric Palliative Care
  • Brian Tullius, MD, MA (Phil.)



7:30 AM
Check-In Begins
8:00 AM
9:15 AM
Opening Remarks
9:25 - 10:25 AM
Hope and the Redemptive Meaning of Suffering
10:30 - 11:30 AM
Wise and Hopeful Preparation for the End of Life
11:30 AM
11:45 AM - 12:45 PM
A Virtuous Approach to Vaccine Development and Use of Vaccines
12:45 - 2:25 PM
Hippocratic Oath Luncheon
1:20 -2:20 PM
Care for the Health Care Professional
2:25 PM
2:45 - 3:45 PM
Understanding Physical and Developmental Disabilities in Light of a Christian Anthropology
3:45 - 4:00 PM
4:00 - 5:00 PM
Encountering Mercy and Grace within Pediatric Palliative Care
5:05 - 5:45 PM
Wine & Cheese Reception


Vice President of Curriculum and Director of Clergy Initiatives, St. John Paul II Foundation

Dr. Roland Millare, a native Houstonian, serves as the Vice President of Curriculum and the Director of Clergy Initiatives for the St. John Paul II Foundation (Houston, TX). Dr. Millare served as a member of the Theology Department at St. John XXIII College Preparatory (Katy, TX) for over 15 years. He received a BA in Theology from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. He has a MA in Theological Studies (with a concentration in Moral Theology) 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) from the University of St. Mary of the Lake (Mundelein, IL). Dr. Millare also serves as an adjunct professor of theology for permanent deacon candidates, seminarians, undergraduate and graduate students at the University of St. Thomas, St. Mary’s Seminary, the Diocese of Fort Worth and the University of Dallas. He has published various theological articles for Logos, Antiphon, New Blackfriars, Nova et Vetera, and the Heythrop Journal. He has published the book, A Living Sacrifice: Liturgy and Eschatology in Joseph Ratzinger (Emmaus Academic, 2022). Dr. Millare has also contributed an article to a forthcoming lexicon on the theology of Joseph Ratzinger (Ignatius Press). Dr. Millare is a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, Academy of Catholic Theology, and the Society for Catholic Liturgy. Dr. Millare enjoys the gift of life and love with his beautiful wife Veronica and their three children.


Gwyneth Anne Spaeder, MD, attended the University of Dallas where she graduated with a degree in Political Philosophy. She then attended The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, graduating in 2005. She is a Board-Certified Pediatrician and has practiced in both community ER and private practice settings. She completed a certificate in Health Care Ethics through the National Catholic Bioethics Center in 2015 and has published several articles pertaining to vaccine ethics. She also served as the guest editor for a NCBC Quarterly edition focused on Pediatric-specific issues. She is a recurrent presenter at Theology of the Body workshops for teens and for NFP/Marriage prep within the Diocese of Raleigh. She is a member of the Catholic Medical Association Triangle Guild. She lives in Wake Forest, NC with her husband and three children.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Kennedy Institute of Ethics and Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics

Father Columba Thomas, OP, MD, is a Dominican friar and a physician specializing in Internal Medicine. He graduated from Yale School of Medicine in 2012 with distinction and one of the top prizes for his thesis entitled, “Foretelling the Future of Prognostication: A Historically-Inspired, Domain-Based Approach for the Elderly.” Before joining the Dominicans in 2016, he completed a Primary Care Residency and Chief Residency at Yale and attained board certification in Internal Medicine. His publications have appeared in a variety of journals, including JAMA Internal Medicine, Journal of General Internal Medicine, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, and National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly. More recently, he edited The Art of Dying: A new, annotated translation (National Catholic Bioethics Center, 2021). Fr. Columba currently serves as postdoctoral fellow in bioethics at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics and the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics, and is completing a master's degree in Catholic Clinical Ethics at Georgetown University and the Catholic University of America.

Staff Palliative Care Physician, Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital

Dr. Phuc Vo is a Staff Palliative Care Physician at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.  He is a member of AAHPM (American Academy of Hospice and Palliative care Medicine) and board certified through the American Academy of Emergency Physicians.  He received a B.A. degree in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame and a Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine from Kansas City University. Dr. Vo completed his fellowship trained in Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine at Nathan Adelson Hospice in conjunction with Touro University of Medicine. He is hospice medical director board certified.

Orthopedic Surgeon, Bassett Medical Center

Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky is an orthopedic surgeon who has dedicated his career of more than forty years to caring and advocating for persons with disabilities and their families. He received his medical degree from Brown University, general surgery training at Dartmouth, performed his orthopedic surgery residency at the Campbell Clinic, and one year of fellowship in pediatric orthopedics at Harvard. He is a past president of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine and was a pioneer in the care of adults with childhood onset disabilities. Currently, he lives and practices in the Bassett Healthcare Network in rural Cooperstown, New York. He participated in the five year start up of the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center at Columbia University Medical Center and continues teaching and performing research at Columbia University in New York City. Dr. D., as he is best known, worked with the New York City Ballet and former Major League Baseball players to establish movement workshops for children and adults with disabilities. He is a Knight of Malta.

Research Medical Director for Pediatric Cellular Therapy at AdventHealth Central Florida

Brian Tullius, MD, is a board-certified pediatric hematologist/oncologist specializing in hematopoietic stem cell transplant and cellular therapies. Dr. Tullius received his medical degree from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in Omaha Nebraska after completing a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Biology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in Steubenville, Ohio from which he recently received the Fr. Dan Egan Award given to alumni in recognition of success in healthcare and life sciences. He has extensive training in pediatrics, completing pediatric internship at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego and pediatric residency at the University of California-Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. Dr. Tullius completed flight surgeon training at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute in Pensacola, FL. He served in the United States Navy achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander and receiving numerous awards and commendations for his outstanding service. Following the Navy, Dr. Tullius completed his Pediatric Hematology/Oncology fellowship and his Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy fellowship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Tullius has a U.S. Patent on a cellular therapy for treating microbial infections with expanded natural killer cells.  An accomplished medical practitioner, Dr. Tullius specializes in cellular therapies, cancer immunotherapy, innate cellular immunity, and stem cell transplantation.



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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 6 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 6 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 6 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 101040573 has been approved for 6 contact hours.

Click here for full CME/CNE details

The National Association of Catholic Chaplains has approved this program for 6.25 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
This activity can offer 6 LSW or LCSW continuing education credits. Please select the General Admission ticket option and request a certificate of completion on your registration form. For questions, please email the conference coordinator at [email protected]

This activity can offer 4 LPC or LMFT continuing education credits. Please select the General Admission ticket option and request a certificate of completion on your registration form. For questions, please email the conference coordinator at [email protected]



Cathedral High School

7726 Westview Dr.
Houston, TX 77055

For More Information:

[email protected]





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


    P.O. Box 5927
    Katy, TX 77491