Maryknoll, NY: Maryknoll Sister, Sr. Aiko Oyabu, died on March 11, 2018 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She was 84 years old and a Maryknoll Sister for 54 years.
Aiko was born in Amino, Takeno-Gun, Kyoto, Japan on October 28, 1933 to Wai (Mizukami) Oyabu and Masuji Oyabu. She had five sisters, and two brothers. All have predeceased her except her sisters, Tomiko Nakajima, Mitsuyo Ikeda, and Harumi Yoshinari and her brothers, Magoshiro Oyabu and Hiroki Oyabu.
In 1952, Aiko graduated from St. Joseph Nissei High School, in Nishi Maizuru, Japan. She then attended Heian Junior College in Kyoto and graduated in 1954 with an Associate of Arts Degree. Aiko then taught as a grade school teacher in a School at Novera, Kyoto for eight years before entering the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in the Philippine Islands on June 1, 1963.
At her Reception into the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation, Aiko received the religious name Sister Maria Assumpta. She made her First Profession of Vows on March 16, 1966 in the Philippines. Then she was assigned to the Maryknoll Girls School in Yokkaichi, Japan to teach English and Christian Ethics in 1972. On January 2, 1972, she made her Final Vows in Japan and studied at Sophia University from 1973-1974. Sister Aiko then studied at Seisen Women’s College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature in 1977. Following graduation from Seisen she returned to teach in Yokkaichi until 1983 when she was assigned to Bolivia.
Sister Aiko’s ministry in Bolivia took her to Riberalta where she did pastoral work and helped form Basic Christian Communities from 1984 to 1987. She was then assigned to Capinota in the mountains of Bolivia and Cochabamba, where she was involved in formation of Basic Christian Communities, pastoral work, home visiting and youth work until 1992. In that year, she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY where she worked in the Congregation’s Development Office until 1994. In 1995, she returned to Kyoto, Japan and Kamakura, working with immigrants from Bolivia and Peru and visiting Peruvians in prison until 1997. That same year she returned to Kyoto working with immigrants from Bolivia and Peru and with physically and mentally handicapped people until 2004. In 2006, Sister Aiko retired to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in New York and joined the Chi Rho Community working as a volunteer, visiting the elderly and infirm Sisters.
A Vespers service will be held for Sister Aiko on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 4:15 p.m. in the Main Chapel at Maryknoll Sisters Center. A Funeral Mass will follow on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. also in the Main Chapel at the Center. Interment will follow in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Center grounds.