Sister Krista Aitken PCC
Barbara Jean Aitken was born to Edward and Grace Aitken at Mercy Hospital in San Francisco on December 3, 1939. The Mercy Sister, who made her Mom and Dad feel at home when they arrived at the hospital on that auspicious day, would later be the same Sister who taught Barbara in the 8th grade. Graduating from Mercy High School in 1957, Barbara excelled in music and art as well as her other studies. She came from a prominent San Francisco family who first settled there in the 1850's; her father being a Captain with San Francisco Fire Department, and her grandfather had served as Chief of Police. Barbara loved animals and cherished the memories of her childhood when the San Francisco Police Department rode horses. Barbara, her brother, and sister would love to go to Golden Gate Park and feed the police horses in their stable. Barbara was an accomplished horseback rider, learning at age of three. She was also very proud of her Scottish heritage.
Barbara had that same determination to serve others, but her generous spirit responded to God's call to enter Religious Life. She joined the Mercy Sisters soon after she graduated from high school. Her athleticism complimented her excellent teaching skills, especially with the challenging tendencies' of 7th and 8th grade boys. She once said, "To be challenged is inevitable; to be defeated is optional." She had earned five Master's Degrees varying in topics from Education, Psychology, and Fine Arts with her focus on music and creative painting.
On June 29, 1972, sister responded to another call of God and entered the Poor Clare Monastery of Saint Joseph in Aptos. She made solemn vows on August 11, 1975 having already been a perpetually professed Mercy Sister. Sister Krista contributed greatly to her community through her artistic talents which can be seen everywhere at Saint Joseph Monastery. She was very gifted in carpentry and designed and helped build the refectory tables, the carved wooden Stations of the Cross both in the extern and the cloister chapels. She encouraged young Sisters in art and building, and became organist and choir director early in her religious life; adding to the spiritual beauty of the contemplative vocation by her musical talents. Her love for animals also led her to care for the dogs on the monastery grounds for many years. Perhaps her greatest contribution to the community and the entire Church was her years of bearing the cross of suffering with a smile on her face and no bitterness in heart. She drank from the chalice of Jesus with a deep faith and continued her fiat with a song in her heart. After an accident, it was necessary for her to reside in a skilled nursing home since she was unable to walk, but she remained a source of spiritual strength for all those she met and continued to support her community with her many skills. She quietly entered the kingdom of her Lord and Spouse on January 16th. She will be greatly missed by all those who knew her, including her dear brother Michael Aitken, her sister Pat Hickman, and numerous loving nieces, nephews and extended family, and her Poor Clare family.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday morning January 20th at the Poor Clare Monastery on Pleasant Valley Road in Aptos, beginning at 11 a.m. Sister Krista wished to be laid to rest beside her deceased Sister Family in the Monastery Cemetery. You may leave your prayers and condolences by visiting the Benito and Azzaro homepage. View the online memorial for Sister Krista Aitken PCC