Sister Charleen Marie Bloom, CSJ (Sister Albert Joseph), 83, died Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at the Community Hospice Inn at St. Peter’s, Albany. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 63 years.
Sister Char was born in Albany, NY, on December 6, 1935, daughter of the late Charles and Marion Hennessy Bloom. After graduating from Vincentian Institute in Albany, she attended The College of Saint Rose. On March 19, 1956, Sister Char entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy, NY, and professed final vows on August 6, 1963.
Sister Char received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from The College of Saint Rose, a master’s degree in speech from the Catholic University of America and a doctorate in speech-language pathology and audiology from the University of Illinois at Champaign. In addition, she received a master of social work degree from the University at Albany (SUNY).
In the early years of her life as a Sister of St. Joseph, Sister Char taught in schools of the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses. In 1971, after completing her doctorate, Sister Char began a 40-year career at The College of Saint Rose during which she helped to establish the college’s program in communications disorders and served as professor, department chair and professor emerita. Under Sister Char’s guidance, the program offered a four-year undergraduate degree program, added a five-year program of study, received certification from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and became one of the most respected clinical speech-language-pathology programs in the country.
Sister Char also founded weekly and annual programs to assist persons who stutter, and her pioneering workshops on stuttering have become a national model. In addition, she co-authored several textbooks; published and presented extensively at local, state, national and international forums; established the Saint Rose Chapter of the National Student Speech-Language and Hearing Association; served as the chief administrator and financial director of the National Student Speech-Language and Hearing Association; was a fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association; received numerous honors from the New York State Speech-Language and Hearing Association and the National Student Speech-Language and Hearing Association; twice received the Distinguished Clinical Achievement Award from the Capital Area Speech-Language-Hearing Association; and was a longtime member of the board of directors at St. Catherine’s Center for Children.. On May 13, 2017 Sister Char received the Carondelet Medal from The College of Saint Rose, the college’s highest honor, given for extraordinary service to Saint Rose and the world community.
As a Sister of St. Joseph, Sister Char embraced community life with joy and enthusiasm and continually fostered our call to bring God’s unifying love to the world. Motivated by her belief that communication is at the heart of life, Sister Char touched thousands with her expertise, warmth, compassion, hospitality and humor, and her spirit will long remain in our hearts.
Sister Char is survived by her beloved brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Jane Bloom; by her nephews, Christopher, Luke and Brian Bloom and their families; by many dear friends with special mention of Sister Char’s longtime friend, Mary Ragan; and by the Sisters of St. Joseph. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her cherished cousin, Sister Mary Mahar, CSJ.
Sister Char’s wake will be held in the chapel of St. Joseph's Provincial House, Latham, on Tuesday, July 23, from 4:00-7:00 p.m. with the prayer service at 7:00 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held in the chapel of the Provincial House on Wednesday, July 24, at 10:30 a.m. Donations in Sister Char’s memory may be made to the Development Office, Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet Shaker Road, Latham, NY, 12110.