This past weekend, I had the joy and honor of speaking at the Defending the Faith Conference at Franciscan University of Steubenville. The whole thing was a blast. I think it was one of the best and well-organized conferences I’ve ever been to. The talks were deep and insightful, the worship holy and powerful, and the sheer excitement of 1,500 devoted Catholics rocked the fieldhouse all weekend.
However, the best part was spending several days with the other speakers, men and women I deelpy admire. I got to meet Dr. Peter Kreeft for the first time, who dazzled me with his wit and wisdom over several meals. I also chatted with Dr. Ted Sri, an erudite biblical scholar who teaches at the Augustine Institute, which I’ll be attending (digitally) this Fall. I reconnected with good friends like Mark Shea, Dr. Ralph Martin, Teresa Tomeo, and Jeff Cavins while meeting others I’ve admired from a distance like Jason Stellman (you’ve got to hear his story), Marc Barnes (Bad Catholic), Patrick Madrid, Mark Hart, Bob Rice, and more.
And then of course there was Dr. Scott Hahn, the host. Scott’s books played a significant role in my conversion to Catholicism, as they have for so many people, so meeting him was a real treat. But it became even sweeter was when he invited Mark Shea, Marc Barnes, and me over to the Hahn residence on the last day. We toured the beautiful gardens with his gracious wife Kimberly, we took in a great view of downtown Steubenville, and then—the moment we had been waiting for:mdash;Scott welcomed us into his legendary biblio sanctum.
Now I had heard rumors about Scott’s home library. I knew it was vast, I knew it contained many rare and collectible books. But the rumors didn’t do it justice. Upon entering my jaw dropped as books enveloped me from every side. Over 40,000 titles blanketed the walls and shelves (and not a little floor). I felt like a kid in a candy store. We spent a couple hours chatting favorite books and authors, and Scott even let us pick through some of his duplicate books. (I regretted not bringing an extra empty suitcase.)
Below you’ll find several pictures from the Conference and library, along with a short video tour. Enjoy!
Dr. Scott Hahn’s Legendary Home Library