GRESHAM — Anna Baker is a busy working mom, but Cathy Leeper, one of the longtime volunteers with the RCIA program at St. Henry Parish, was looking straight at her when asking for sponsors for the catechumens and candidates last year.

“There’s a young woman who is totally on fire,” Leeper told Baker.

Baker had never been a sponsor before, but the match with Emily Boring was a good one, and Baker found her own faith renewed in the process.

Boring was a candidate, a baptized Christian seeking confirmation and her first Communion as a Catholic.

Others in the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) class were catechumens, unbaptized adults who would be baptized as well as receive the sacraments of Communion and confirmation.

“I pray sometimes, and then find the right sponsor,” said Leeper. “I ask people, ‘Could you share your faith?’”

Baker found she could.

Boring, a horsewoman, and Baker, who works in a Western store, immediately could talk equine shop. They moved from that to discussions about faith.

Boring had grown up in a mixed-faith family, very Catholic on her mother’s side, and Boring sometimes went to Mass with her mother.

It wasn’t until a little over a year ago, however, that Boring suffered a deep personal loss. In her grief she reached out to the church.

She filled out a form for RCIA at St. Henry, and Deacon Larry Loumena called her and left a message.

Boring put off responding, but Deacon Loumena called back a week later and Boring took the plunge.

It wasn’t a difficult path but rather one that gave her peace. “I had God on my mind a lot more,” she said. “I talked with him more and felt his presence.”

Boring’s mother, Teresa Boring, apologized to her for not raising her Catholic, but Emily Boring told her she was pleased that her faith life had taken the path it did.

“I’m glad I went through RCIA,” Emily said at a reception after the Easter Vigil. “It meant I could look forward to having Communion, really understanding it.”

Baker too was glad to go through RCIA. “My faith had become an everyday thing,” she said. “Doing this meant being able to take the faith I’d learned as a child and find a more sophisticated understanding of the sacraments.”

“We’ll miss seeing everyone at class every week,” Boring said.