Dominos Pizza Magnate Tom Monaghan Compares Himself to Hugh Hefner

by Steve Ray on 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.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

David McArthur January 30, 2019 at 11:51 AM

I,ve struggled with "mental Illness" personality disorders, PTSD, chronic depression and probably more. I've tried as best I can to be a Catholic. The idea of living a Christian Life for me is failure after failure. It would be easier for a paraplegic to walk. My brain is wired differently than "normal" folks. What am I to do? Local priests can't help, years of therapy doesn't help. Go to confession, go to mass, receive the Eucharist and pray. Easy for you to say. How in the heck can I live like this and still hope to see heaven?

STEVE RAY HERE: David, God will judge each of us by our hearts and desires, not by how successful we are. Mother Teresa said, “God will not judge you on how successful you are but about how faithful you are.” God knows what you can and cannot do and loves you as you are. Seek him first and all will be well.

Owen Hill November 26, 2020 at 10:20 PM

David; what some post-modern Catholics will tell you is deceitfully wrong; we actually will be judged according to our works, one needs only to look at the words of Christ himself. Thankfully we will be judged corresponding to our ability; which means how many talents God had given us, the word “talent” meaning “ability” originated from the parable of the talents. If you can’t build charities or engineer agricultural wonders, don’t stress, work in a soup kitchen, effective good works are important however, because we must give an account on what we have done. God condemns the goats to hell and sends the sheep to heaven in Jesus’ parable, according to what parameters? Feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, visiting prisomers/strangers/ the sick. Another example: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’ those who say “Lawd! Lawd! ‘Prophecy’, ‘cast out demons’ and do many ‘miracles’ characterizes exactly what is wrong with modern-day Christianity, it is a characterization of protestantism, which is doctrinely wrong. Protestants where siphoned from the Church in their belief that we can be saved through Grace alone, can a paedophile be saved from grace alone? No, he must repent, change his ways and actually do good for his fellow man, this sentence: “In everything, do to others as you would want done to you for this is the law and the prophets” to what extent we obey this, in proportion to our talents, we will be judged. It isn’t an accident the institution of the hospital is a Catholic invention. It is clear that we will be judged according to our fruit, and “those who do not not bear good fruit, will be cut down and thrown into the fire”. Do not be disheartened by Jesus’ words; he did not mean that God will judge us according to oir ability or “talents” but according to what we do with the talents God has bestowed upon us, start with something doable, like making soup at a charity soup kitchen, consider how many happy people you will make, then increase the difficulty and one day you might invent some technology that will improve millions of lives, consider Louis Pasteur; a devout Catholic who invented pasteurization saving millions of lives and enabling improved delights in beer, cheese, wine and basically every food we eat today. Do not be discouraged, Jesus loves those who are eager to do good works: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” It is important that as Catholics we do as many good works as possible, people will see and glorify God: “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Do you really think prayer is enough to send us to heaven? Jesus rejects piety when it is used for pride: “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.” He rejects almsgiving, prayer and fasting when it is done to be seen by others. Be the good soil; accept the word of God and bear 100-fold, do good works to fulfill God’s first mission for us all: thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven; the kingdom of God and and his righteousness, on earth as it is in heaven; is what God’s will is, anything else is heresy, so seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.

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