Serving the Church with passion
Editor Patrick Novecosky writes about being inspired by Legatus founder Tom Monaghan . . .
My wife and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary next month. Over the last decade, I’ve come to realize that there’s nothing sweeter in life than living your vocation for the Lord. I’m thankful not only for having met Michele, but for the guy responsible for that meeting: Tom Monaghan.
In the late 1990s, Tom agreed to help Anthony Buono develop a dynamic new website for faithful Catholics looking for a spouse: AveMariaSingles.org. And just as the Jubilee Year was ending, I happened upon a beautiful young lady at that website. She changed my life forever. Before I knew it, I was working for the man who had made my vocation a reality. Michele and I even got married in a church built on his Domino’s Farms property.
There are probably thousands of stories just like mine — people touched by one man’s generosity and passion for the Catholic faith. Tom’s commitment to Catholic education has been the seed for dozens of religious vocations and hundreds of happily married, faithful Catholics. I couldn’t even begin to guess the number of children being raised in committed Catholic homes because of Tom’s dedication to the faith. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
When Tom decided to sell Domino’s and devote his life to building the Church through his charitable foundation, he chose to focus on Catholic education. (Click here for a related story) He founded several elementary schools before building what he hopes to become the best Catholic university in the world. These days, when he speaks about Ave Maria University, he projects how many nuns, priests, and faithful married couples will flow from his work by the end of the century. Many thousands will be eagerly serving the Church within a few decades, he says.
It’s clear that few of us have the means to build a great university. But each of us, no matter what our vocation or financial status happens to be, has the means to passionately serve Jesus Christ and the Church He founded. Each of us, by virtue of our baptism, is called to bring the Good News to a world desperate for meaning and hope.
Tom Monaghan has also made it a goal to get to heaven and bring as many people with him as possible. It would be rather embarrassing, he once said, to show up at the Pearly Gates alone. The last instructions Jesus left his followers before ascending into heaven was to make disciples of the whole world. What a blessing it would be for each of us to make just one in 2012!
Patrick Novecosky is Legatus magazine’s editor.