Running for Vocations at the Marine Corps Marathon

Dad of a Marine in Afghanistan to Run 10K, Despite Serious Brain Tumor

October 08, 2010

Sixty parishioners from Jesus the Divine Word in Huntingtown, MD have formed their own “Run for Vocations” team, part of a larger group organized by the Archdiocese of Washington, to promote vocations to the priesthood during the October 31 Marine Corps Marathon (MCM). Nine of the parishioners will participate in the marathon; the rest will run the 10K.

Among those running is James Peck. Last year, just after completing the MCM 10K, James was diagnosed with an aggressive and deadly form of a malignant brain cancer. He had surgery and began a treatment of chemotherapy and radiation. Then, his wife, Cecilia, got caught in Haiti when that nation was hit by a devastating earthquake last January while she and other women from the parish were there on a mission trip. The women returned home safely, but, soon after, James found his tumor had aggressively returned. James has had more surgery, and is now undergoing regular treatments to keep the tumor at bay. Throughout all of this, the Pecks’ only son, Nathan, has been serving on the front lines in Afghanistan as an active duty Marine.

Despite his illness, James will participate again in the MCM 10K race this year. He says, “A year later, despite my illness, I believe that God’s always been with me, and He will give me the strength to push myself to help holy priests in bringing God to people and people to God. So, my 2010 participation is not any different, only now, it’s more special.”

James is one of 187 runners on the Archdiocese of Washington’s “Run for Vocations,” team – 49 are running in the full Marathon; 138 for the 10K. Priests, seminarians and lay people participating in the Marine Corps Marathon and 10K as a way to pray and sacrifice in support of future priests. Funds raised through the team are used to cover unexpected expenses for seminarians, including medical costs, travel expenses in the event of a family emergency and spiritual enrichment opportunities.
For more information on Run for Vocations, please visit

Brie Hall
Office of Communications
[email protected]