With Madeleine gone, Pierre’s sister offered to take Catherine and her sister Marie Antoinette. The two siblings moved to their aunt’s home in the village of Saint-Rémy, just a few miles from Fain-lès-Moutiers. As a child, Catherine was said to have been exceptionally religious.
Catherine returned to her father’s house in January 1818 when she was 11. Within a few weeks, she took her first communion at the nearby Moutiers-Saint Jean church. The day of her first communion was the feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul.
That day is also remembered by the followers of Saint Vincent de Paul as the birth of the Vincentian movement, a religious order devoted to helping the poor. As we shall see, this religious organization was to have a deep significance in later years in Catherine’s adult life.