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, February 17, as well as additional access to the recordings (from noon ET on Sunday, February 18, to 11:59 pm ET on Wednesday, February 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.

  • 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, February 2. All refund requests made on or after February 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.


  • The Well-Formed Conscience of a Health Care Professional
  • Fr. Columba Thomas, OP, MD
  • Truth, Conscience, and Religious Liberty in Health Care
  • Mary Rice Hasson, JD
  • The Unique Mission of Catholic Health Care
  • Cody F. Feikles, MA, MTS, HEC-C
  • The Role of the Sacraments and Prayer in the Care of the Sick and Dying
  • Roger Nutt, STL, STD
  • Ethical Standards in the Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Sr. Michaela Serpa, FSE, MA, PharmD, BCPS
  • The Role of the Medical Community in Service to the Sick and Dying in a Throwaway Culture
  • Cody F. Feikles, MA, MTS, HEC-C; Sr. Michaela Serpa, FSE, MA, PharmD, BCPS; and Fr. Columba Thomas, OP, MD
  • Approaching Gender Dysphoria with Compassion and in Light of the Science
  • Deacon Patrick W. Lappert, MD



7:30 AM
Check-In Begins
8:00 AM
  • Mass
9:15 AM
Opening Remarks
9:25 - 10:25 AM 
The Well-Formed Conscience of a Health Care Professional
10:30 - 11:30 AM
Truth, Conscience, and Religious Liberty in Health Care
11:30 AM
11:45 AM - 12:45 PM
The Unique Mission of Catholic Health Care
12:45 - 2:25 PM
Hippocratic Oath Luncheon
1:20-2:20 PM
The Role of the Sacraments and Prayer in the Care of the Sick and Dying
2:25 PM
2:45 - 3:45 PM
Ethical Standards in the Pharmaceutical Industry
3:45 - 4:45 PM
The Role of the Medical Community in Service to the Sick and Dying in a Throwaway Culture
4:45 PM
4:55 - 5:55 PM
Approaching Gender Dysphoria with Compassion and in Light of the Science
6:05 - 6:45 PM
Wine & Cheese Reception


Bishop of Venice in Florida

Most Reverend Bishop Frank J. Dewane serves as the spiritual leader of approximately 250,000 Catholics in the 10-county Diocese of Venice in Florida. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 as the second Bishop of the Diocese. Bishop Frank J. Dewane was named Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Venice in Florida by Pope Benedict XVI on April 25, 2006, and on January 19, 2007, he was installed in his current role as Bishop of the Diocese. In addition to holding a degree from the University of Wisconsin, Bishop Dewane also completed studies at The American University in Washington, D.C., as well as from Pontifical Gregorian University and Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, both in Rome. Prior to entering the seminary, Bishop Dewane worked for the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) in Moscow, Russia, and then for a subsidiary of PepsiCo in New York City. Ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Green Bay in 1988, Bishop Dewane was appointed in 1991 to serve as a member of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York City, during which time he represented the Holy See at several international conferences. In 1995, he was transferred to the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” and was later appointed Under Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Bishop Dewane serves on the Ad Hoc Committee against Racism, and Subcommittee for the Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees and Travelers for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Bishop Dewane previously served on several committees at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops including the Committee for Domestic Justice and Integral Human Development (past Chair), Committee for International Justice and Peace. Bishop Dewane is a member of the Board of Directors of the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land, and is the Episcopal Liaison for Catholic Charities, USA.


Deacon Patrick W. Lappert, MD, is recently retired from his private practice in Plastic Surgery. Dr. Lappert received his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Science. Following his internship, he served as a Flight Surgeon in a forward deployed Marine Corps fighter squadron. He trained in General Surgery at the Oakland Naval Hospital/ UC Davis East Bay Consortium. He was board certified in General Surgery in 1992. He served as Clinical Professor in Surgery for the same program until his selection for training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at University of Tennessee, Memphis. Following that residency, he was board certified in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 1997, and recertified in 2008. He served as a staff reconstructive surgeon at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital from 1994-2002. While there, he established a center for the care of problem wounds. Additionally, Dr. Lappert established the multidisciplinary Pediatric Cleft/ Craniofacial Deformities Clinic which he chaired for 7 years. Dr. Lappert was Chief of the Plastic Surgery Department from 1997 to 2002. He was appointed Specialty Leader in Reconstructive Surgery to the Office of the Surgeon General, USN, a position which he held from 1997 to 2002. Dr. Lappert retired from military service after 24 years with the rank of Captain, USN. Dr. Lappert has authored journal articles in breast reconstruction, facial reconstruction, and endoscopic repair of facial trauma. With the Chairman of Plastic Surgery of Harvard University, Dr. Lappert authored a textbook chapter on the plastic surgical management of combat trauma. More recently, Dr. Lappert was a chapter author on the subject of the surgical interventions used on self-identified transgender persons which appears in the recently released anthology, Sexual Identity; the Coherence of Philosophy, Science, and Revelation, John Desilva Finley, 2002. For the past 7 years, Dr. Lappert has given many lectures on the subject of human anthropology and the moral and ethical problems of transgender medicine and surgery. His audiences have ranged from medical students and residents, to diocesan priest retreats, to middle and high school students. Deacon Lappert serves at Annunciation of the Lord Catholic Church in Decatur, Alabama. He is a Chaplain for the Courage Apostolate in the Diocese of Birmingham, and also serves on the Board of Directors for Courage International. Dr. Lappert has been married to Patrice Ann Oberst for 41 years, and together they raised 6 children. They have one grandchild.


Sister Michaela Serpa, FSE, MA, PharmD, BCPS is a clinical pharmacist licensed to practice pharmacy in four states, a board certified pharmacotherapy specialist, a member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) where she serves on the Ethics in Pharmacy Committee. Sister Michaela received her B.A. Psychology from Carroll College, Helena, MT, an M.A. Theology with emphasis in Bioethics from Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Cromwell, CT in conjunction with a certificate in bioethics from the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), and her PharmD from Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID. Sister Michaela was a member of the adult ethics committee at Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Hospital of St. Raphael, New Haven, CT for 12 years.

Kate O’Beirne Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center

Mary Rice Hasson, J.D., is the Kate O’Beirne Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., where she co-founded and directs the Person and Identity Project, an initiative that equips parents and faith-based institutions to promote the truth about the human person and counter gender ideology. An attorney and policy expert, Mary has been a keynote speaker for the Holy See during the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, addressing education, women and work, caregiving, and gender ideology, and serves as a consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family, Life and Youth. She speaks frequently at national conferences, universities, and in dioceses across the country, and has testified before the U.S. Senate, state legislatures, and the Australian parliament on parents’ rights and transgender issues. The co-author of several books on education, Mary’s writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, National Review, First Things, the National Catholic Register and Our Sunday Visitor, among others. In March 2023, Mary was the 2023 recipient of the Christifideles Laici award, presented at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Notre Dame Law School, Mary is married to Seamus Hasson. They are parents of seven grown children and grandparents of five.

Regional Director of Ethics, Christus Health South Texas

Cody F. Feikles is the Regional Director of Ethics for Christus Health - South Texas, a Catholic Healthcare System with presence in Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Georgia, Mexico, Colombia, and Chile. In this role he regularly handles complex clinical ethics consultations, provides ethics education to medical residents, nurses, staff, and students, and manges their ethics policies. He is also the Managing Editor for the academic journal, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, an international forum for interdisciplinary studies in the ethics of health care and in the philosophy of medicine. Cody is also working toward his Ph.D. in Bioethics with the Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum in Rome. Cody completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology from Gannon University, his Master of Theological Studies degree from Boston College, his Master of Arts degree in Catholic Clinical Ethics from The Catholic University of America and Georgetown University, and his Healthcare Ethics Consultant Certification with the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. Cody is very interested in academic debates within Catholic moral theology and bioethics as well as practical issues within Catholic clinical bioethics. The topic of “The Unique Mission of Catholic Health Care within a Secular Culture” is of particular interest given Cody’s academic and clinical background and present involvement.

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.

Provost and Professor of Theology, Ave Maria University

Dr. Roger Nutt serves as Provost, Professor of Theology, Editor-in-Chief of Sapientia Press of Ave Maria University, and co-director of the Aquinas Center for Theological Renewal at AMU. He holds the degrees of S.T.B, S.T.L., and S.T.D. from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, Italy and a Master’s in Theology and Christian Ministry from Franciscan University. He is also a professional member of The Academy of Catholic Theology. Dr. Nutt’s research and teaching focuses on Christology and Sacramental Theology, with an emphasis on St. Thomas Aquinas. These interests are reflected in the three books that he authored: Thomas Aquinas’ ‘De Unione Verbi Incarnati’ (Peeters Publishers, 2015); General Principles of Sacramental Theology (The Catholic University of America Press, 2017); and To Die is Gain: A Theological (re-)Introduction to the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick for Clergy, Laity, Caregivers, and Everyone Else (Emmaus Academic, 2022). Dr. Nutt has also co-edited a number of volumes and authored numerous articles and chapters on St. Thomas Aquinas, Sacramental Theology, and Christology.



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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 on Accreditation. Criteria for Successful Completion: Contact Hours awarded commensurate with participation and submission of completed participant evaluation form. This activity 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 Ellen Santoro at [email protected]


St. Leo the Great Catholic Church

28290 Beaumont Road
Bonita Springs, FL 34134

For More Information:
Ellen Clements, Conference Coordinator
[email protected]





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


    P.O. Box 5927
    Katy, TX 77491