Sister Mary Sophia Aihara

Aihara, Sophia

Current Ministry Location: Maryknoll Sisters Center-Maryknoll, NY

Sister Mary Sophia, was born in Uchide, Ashiya City, Hyogoken, Japan.   In 1954, she entered the Maryknoll Sisters Congregation in Ossining, NY from Saiin Parish, Kyoto, Japan, and made her Final Vows on March 7th, 1963 in Japan.  Sister Sophia holds a B.A. in English Literature from Doshisha, Kyoto.  In 1971, she graduated from the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo, with an M.A. in English Literature.

Sister Sophia spent most of her missionary life in her homeland of Japan.   Her first assignment was supervising the sewing room at the Maryknoll Sisters residence in Kyoto from 1957 – 1958.  She then did parish work at her home parish in Saiin, Japan for two years.  In 1961, she began working in another local parish in Isa-she until 1963.

From 1963 – 1968 Sister Sophia embarked on her teaching career.  She taught English, religion and math in Yokkaichi, Japan.  In 1969, Sr. Sophia studied for a year at Fordham University.  Later she returned to Japan to further her studies.  In 1971, Sister Sophia taught English and English Literature at Sacred Heart Junior College until 1973.   From 1973 – 1984, Sister Sophia worked at the Encyclopedia Britannica offices in Kichijoji, Japan, translating the entire expansive work into Japanese.  At that time she also taught at Sophia University.  She continued teaching there, and also led bible study groups.

Following her formal retirement in 1989, Sister Sophia moved to Tokyo where she participated in catechetical, educational and family ministry.   She also did pastoral and prayer ministry with women until 2005 when she returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in NY.  Sister Sophia currently resides in the Maryknoll Sisters Nursing Home.