Msgr. Tom Hartman, of God Squad Fame, Dies

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Msgr. Thomas Hartman, the Roman Catholic priest from Long Island nationally known as half of the God Squad, a popular television show about religion, died following a years-long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 69.Father Tom, as he was known, became a household name with Rabbi Marc Gellman following the success of the TV show they co-hosted for 20 years on Telecare, the faith-based cable network that Hartman ran for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. The show led to a nationally-syndicated newspaper column, as well as regular TV and radio appearances on shows with larger audiences than their own, such as Good Morning America. After his diagnosis, Hartman stepped back from the spotlight and founded a charity that donated millions to find a cure for Parkinson’s.“Our friendship produced many words, but it never needed words,” Gellman wrote in his Newsday column Wednesday eulogizing Hartman. “Tommy taught me that smiles are more important than words, and I do not need words now to remember that transformative wisdom.” Hartman grew up in East Williston before entering the Hempstead seminary when he was in the ninth grade after passing up his dream of becoming a baseball player and instead joining the clergy like his uncle, aunts and cousins before him. He was ordained in 1971 and eight years later graduated with a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkley.Hartman was also a parish priest at St. Vincent de Paul in Elmont and a chaplain for the Nassau County Police Department. Hartman joined forces with Gellman, the Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Beth Torah in Melville, after the two met while discussion religion on News12 Long Island. The next day, they formed the God Squad, in which the straight-laced Hartman and quick-witted Gellman discussed morality and religion.The duo eventually became LI’s best-known clergymen, making appearances on national cable news networks. They were even animated for an HBO children’s special based on their book of the same name, How Do You Spell God? But if they ever struggled to balance their fame and their duties, it never showed.”I’m definitely the straight man,” Hartman told The New York Times during the height of their fame in the ‘90s. ”Marc is much funnier than I and more vocal. I’m quieter. I want Marc to be the star. To some degree I’ve had more fame. Initially he had to gain it. So it was bigger in his mind. And in many ways he’s more talented than I.”In 2003, Hartman broke the news of his diagnoses in his newspaper column, which had only launched a year prior. He had kept it secret for four years by that point. Gellman still writes the column for Tribune Media Services, but visited Hartman weekly at the nursing home where Father Tom lived until his passing.Hartman’s charity donations led to the formation of the Thomas Hartman Foundation for Parkinson Research  in the Department of Neurobiology & Behavior at Stony Brook University. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.last_img read more

Champions Chelsea bounce back in the Premier League with victory over Arsenal

first_img Saido Berahino scored for the winner for West Brom in their midlands derby with Aston Villa less than three weeks after he stated he would never play for Baggies chairman Jeremy Peace again. The 22-year-old made that declaration during a Twitter rant after a deadline-day move to Tottenham failed to materialise. However, after coming on in last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Southampton, he started at Villa Park and struck in a 1-0 win just before half-time, deflecting James Morrison’s effort beyond goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Newcastle, Sunderland and Stoke’s winless streaks were all extended to six games as none of the trio were able to move out of the relegation zone. Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri had promised pizza to his side if they kept a clean sheet at the Britannia Stadium, yet that incentive did not stop Potters forward Bojan Krkic, starting a league game for the first time since January, and Jonathan Walters finding the net inside 20 minutes. Ranieri’s side staged a come-from-behind victory against Aston Villa last weekend and six days on they fought back again to draw 2-2, Riyad Mahrez converting a penalty for his fifth of the season before Jamie Vardy levelled. Sunderland prop up the division as they were undone by a two-goal blitz inside the opening nine minutes in a 2-0 loss at Bournemouth. Callum Wilson scored for the fifth time in this campaign and Scotland international Matt Ritchie then scored a brilliant second, chesting and volleying in after a semi-cleared corner had reached him 25 yards out. Black Cats defender Younes Kaboul was then sent off for a pair of cautions on another dismal afternoon for Dick Advocaat’s side. Odion Ighalo’s brace in the first 28 minutes gave Watford a 2-1 away triumph at Newcastle. The Nigeria international claimed the winner against Swansea last weekend and his good form after signing a new deal continued in the north east, where Daryl Janmaat managed to pull one back in the second period. In the other 3pm kick-off, the spoils were shared in south Wales as Everton boss Roberto Martinez’s return to old club Swansea resulted in a goalless stalemate. Toffees forward Kevin Mirallas picked up the fourth red card of the day for a wild lunge on Modou Barrow that came less than two minutes after he had been introduced as a substitute. In the late kick-off, leaders Manchester City dropped points for the first time this season in losing 2-1 to West Ham at the Etihad Stadium. City had not conceded in their opening five contests but Chelsea loanee Victor Moses and Diafra Sakho put the ball past goalkeeper Joe Hart in the opening 31 minutes. Belgium international Kevin De Bruyne pulled one back on the stroke of half-time on his full debut, but the Hammers withstood second-half pressure to record another impressive away victory having already defeated Arsenal and Liverpool on their travels this term. The win moved West Ham up to second, three points behind City. Gunners central defender Gabriel was dismissed following a series of running battles with the combative Diego Costa before midfielder Santi Cazorla also received his marching orders after being awarded two yellow cards. Kurt Zouma headed home the opener in between the red cards and Eden Hazard’s effort deflected off Calum Chambers late on as Jose Mourinho’s impressive record against rival boss Arsene Wenger continued. Arsenal had two men sent off at Stamford Bridge as Barclays Premier League champions Chelsea recorded their first home league triumph of the season in a 2-0 success. Press Associationlast_img read more

Indian hockey teams ready to focus on Olympics in 2021

first_imgNew Delhi: With the International Olympic Committee (IOC) officially announcing that July 23 to August 8 next year will be the new dates for the Tokyo Olympic Games, Hockey India along with both Indian men and women’s team coaches and support staff are already reviewing the opportunities to prepare for the Olympic Games.The IOC and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee had jointly announced the postponement of the Olympic Games last week owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.“We were already in the process of looking at possible opportunities in the lead up to the new dates for the Olympic Games next year as it provides more clarity to our approach.“Since we have already qualified, the planning becomes easier. We will be working closely with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Ministry, Youth Affairs & Sports and Sports Authority of India in this next 15 months to ensure both our teams have the best resources to achieve success at the Olympic Games.“At this moment it is not clear which competitions will be available for us to play given the various national Government advisories on the Covid-19 situation, however, both our teams are in a secured environment in Bengaluru and since the coaches and support staff are also there, our athletes can get back to high-intensity training as soon as we have a go ahead,” stated Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmad, President Hockey India.Meanwhile Indian men’s team chief coach Graham Reid who had expressed that the postponement provides more time to put more things into the team’s repertoire said, “It’s great to get some clarity about the new starting date for the Tokyo Olympic Games. This allows us to begin the planning process to be ready for July next year. “In the meantime, we are looking forward to getting through this current tough period and hope to be back out on the training field as soon as possible.”Sjoerd Marijne, chief coach of the Indian women’s team too said that the team is eager and ready to hit the reset button. “It’s good we have certainty when the Olympics will be held and we can work towards that. We are all in the same campus and available for each other in these hard times, a new date for the Olympics is good news for all of us. But for now, we are living by the day, staying strong mentally and physically and wait eagerly to get back to our normal routine. We are prepared to hit the reset button,” stated Marijne.Both Indian men and women’s hockey team core group is based out of SAI, Bengaluru. IANSAlso Read: COVID-19 Pandemic: Indian hockey teams determined to move forwardAlso Watch: Sale of vitamins and other nutritional products rise due to coronavirus scarelast_img read more