Thursday, March 15, 2012

If it weren’t for his faith, Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan said he’d be like Hugh Hefner right now, bathing in luxury after luxury.

Tom Monaghan making pizzas in the beginning

At least that’s what he told JSerra Catholic High School students in San Juan Capistrano on Thursday during a private speaking engagement that was also open to the community.

His message was simple: God had grounded him and made him realize there were far more important things in life than million-dollar cars, yachts, and sports teams, all of which he once owned and took pride in.

“The most important thing I [can] do is help people get to heaven,” the pizza mogul said during the meeting, according to

His priorities were not always aligned, however, as they are now, especially when he began coming into large amounts of money with the success of his business – once a small, single pizza place in Ypsilanti, Mich., called DomiNick’s Pizza.

Tom Monaghan today at his new Ave Maria Town and University

Having built the business from the ground up, the former U.S. Marine eventually became a millionaire after decades of struggle to pay off creditors and settle lawsuits over royalties, living minimally to reduce costs.

When things began looking up during the 1980s, Monaghan “went a little overboard” and wholly embraced the materialistic lifestyle, indulging in fancy cars and yachts and buying things like his favorite baseball team – the Detroit Tigers.

But he woke up to his superficial lifestyle and stopped his splurges when he read a chapter on pride in C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity, which spoke about unhealthy goals and possessions – something he had plenty of.

He realized he had become the kind of person he never wanted to be.

To read the whole story, click here.