I’m a trained, certified, lay catechist with 12 years experience in the parish’s sacramental preparation program for Confirmation. The diocese where I served as catechist for 10 years has a 2-year long Confirmation prep program that met every other Sunday for 90 minutes with the Summer off inbetween. The one where I served for 2 years was only 6 months long.
I had kids who went to either a public high school or Catholic high school. Sometimes, the kids who went to the Catholic high school although they knew their Catholic faith by the books could still possibly be the most unsure about whether they wanted to “still be Catholic” as an adult.
So I can speak from my own minsterial experience and formal formation of my own catechetical ministry that your son is exactly where teens normally are at this age – in their spiritual development as well as in their journey toward Confirmation.
Yes, as Sacrament we receive graces. The ones for Confirmation are the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
We can lose those Gifts when we sin but at Reconciliation they’re restrengthened.
Gotta tell ya… some of the most holy people I’ve ever met in my life have been teens in my “classes.”
First, you have absolutely nothing to be concerned about because God’s got your son in His hands, anyway. You’ve done your job… now it’s his turn to step up to the plate. Your parental concern and continued sharing of your faith as a devout, orthodox, practicing Catholic is the best “sales job” around. Next to, of course, his peers. Hey, at this age… peers rule.
Second, you as his parent are his first catechist. No religion teacher or catechist can replace your role in his spiritual development. You’ve taught him from speaking with him but more importantly in how you live the Faith, yourself.
Third, your son’s teacher at school is absolutely correct. Confirmation is a sacrament – a sacred covenant between you and God and the Mystical Body of Christ (His church). It’s not something to be taken lightly.
Now, having said all that… it is perfectly fine to choose to be Confirmed while still not being totally sure if you will want to be Catholic the entire rest of your life.
I’ve counseled the kids in my classes that if it’s only “for as far as they know for now” that this is good enough.
About 300 teens, and at the end of the program only a few of them decided not to continue and be confirmed.
Bottom line… yes, your son SHOULD attend those “classes.” Those “classes” don’t teach much new about the sacrament but are more of a review of what they’ve been taught and an opportunity to look at their faith more deeply for whether it “fits them.”
It’s absolutely natural and actually part of being a teenager for your son to not be sure at this stage in his life for whether he wants to be confirmed.
My suggestion is the encourage him to “just go for now and see how it goes for you. Just let me know when you’re done with the program for whether it is YOUR choice to be confirmed. Because, it IS your choice. I’ll love you either way.”