The Kiddie Run is always a highlight of the annual Men of Christ Holy Hill 5K, which will be held Sept. 10. (Submitted photo)

Joe Dentice was on vacation in Florida with his wife in February when he received a diagnosis of brain cancer. A later biopsy revealed he has Glioblastoma Multiform, Grade IV.

The 10th running of the Men of Christ Holy Hill 5K Run/Walk will be dedicated to Dentice, with the theme of “Run for Joe,” which will be printed on all of the T-shirts for the Sept. 10 event.

The event begins at 11 a.m. with Mass at the Basilica and National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill in Hubertus. Participants are invited to pray the Angelus at noon before the 1 p.m. run. Bishop Donald J. Hying of the Diocese of Madison will provide the pre-race prayer and serve as the official race starter.

“We expect a great turnout this year with Bishop Hying coming back,” said Race Director Tim Dunne.

Presented by Men of Christ, the annual event is open to all and is a great opportunity to raise funds for seminarians and other charitable organizations.

According to Dunne, Dentice was a fitting person to pay tribute to.

“Sadly, Joe was diagnosed with brain cancer earlier this year, and we want to honor him as he fights this debilitating disease,” said Dunne. “A true Catholic warrior who picked up his cross as he offers up his redemptive suffering daily in walking with Jesus. May the Divine Physician heal him.”

Since the diagnosis, Dentice has been undergoing treatment.

“I have had six weeks of radiation, which happened to start on Ash Wednesday and went through Holy Thursday,” he said. “At that time, I was also on chemotherapy every day. Then there was a one-month break for my body to recover and give the radiation time to work itself out of my system. Now I am on a chemo schedule of five days on and 23 days off. Bloodwork is checked every week, and an MRI will be done every two months to monitor tumor activity. I’ve also had two months of physical therapy, and just started speech therapy.”

Joe and wife Mary celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary on August 1. The couple belongs to St. Leonard in Muskego and has four children: Angela (deceased), Sam (deceased), Tony and Danielle.

As a frequent participant in the 5K, Joe grew closer to Jesus with each run, and his faith strengthened at the Men of Christ 5K by seeing so many “holy people come together in worship and praise.” He plans to attend the event with Mary.

“Jesus has shown me that everything is his will, and to look for his will in all things,” he said. “I am humbled that the runners are running for me, and I thank God to be blessed with such wonderful people in my life. Sometimes it takes a while to realize God puts certain people in your life for a reason. Tim Dunne is one of those people.”

Hosting the 5K at Holy Hill was something that percolated in Dunne’s mind nearly from the beginning of Men of Christ. After mulling it over for a while, he brought it up to Kevin O’Brien, the group’s founder, who gave him the go-ahead.

“I took the ball and ran with it, and it’s been incredibly gratifying and an amazing journey ever since,” Dunne said. “I’ve always been an active runner, having completed 21 marathons. My entire family runs, as well. Two of my three daughters have completed marathons, and my youngest was the captain of the Divine Savior Holy Angels cross country team and completed a half marathon, so the running part was easy for the Dunnes.”

Typically, the 5K brings between 100 and 175 participants of all ages and abilities. Rather than focusing solely on the actual run, Dunne explained they have other activities, such as a rosary walk sponsored by Women of Christ, which traverses the Ice Age Trail and is typically led by a priest, as well as Dan Miller of Pro-Life Wisconsin, Kevin O’Brien, and Dick Boldin from the Rosary Evangelization Apostolate. Confessions will also be available.

“This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants a beautiful and holy prayer walk in the woods,” Dunne said. “We even have a rosary tent if someone wants to sit and pray the rosary.”

A Kiddie Run will take place at 12:30 p.m., and each participant, even as young as 3 and 4 years old, will receive a finisher medal. The children’s event is a highlight of the day, said Dunne, adding that the adults enjoy watching them run around the grassy area at the lower Holy Hill Stations of the Cross picnic area.

“It is lots of fun to be sure, and every participant gets a T-shirt, as well as the finisher medal,” he said. “Moms and dads are thrilled as they get to put the medal around the neck of their kids as they cross the finish line. It is non-competitive, but a barrel of laughs to see all ages of youngsters zip around the course and come flying into their parents’ arms at the finish line.”

Since the event’s inception, more than $50,000 has been raised for seminarians and various organizations, such as Life’s Connection and other pregnancy resource centers, and Holy Resurrection Monastery.

Holy Hill 5K Run/Walk

Saturday, Sept. 10

Register online at

Questions? Tim Dunne, or 262-250-7777

Schedule Of Events:

11 a.m. – Holy Hill Mass, third floor

11 a.m. – Packet pickup/Check-in

Noon – Angelus

12:30 p.m. – Kiddie Run (includes finisher medal)

1 p.m. – 5K Run starts

1:10 p.m. – Rosary Walk

2 p.m. – Awards/fellowship

Entry Fees: $25 before Sept. 1, $30 after

Kiddie Run: $15 prior to Sept. 1, $20 after; 12 and under;  all participants receive participation medals

Includes: MOC Dri-fit T-shirt, Rosary, WWJD bracelet, blessed medals

Refreshments: water, fruit and carbs