Advent calendar prayer and reflection for 23 December

Illustration of a woman showing a book to a group of children

Teach someone to read and help them to learn and fulfil their potential with this World Gift

“’What will this child turn out to be?’ they wondered.” 


When John the Baptist is born, his neighbours and relations are filled with joy. They come together to celebrate and they wonder what will become of this child.

It is a question that families and friends often ask of children. What will they be when they grow up?

Each new life is filled with so much potential; every child has the ability to surprise us, to grow and to flourish, if only they are given the opportunity.

As a little girl, Melissa lived on the streets of Mabanga in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She begged for money and food to survive, and she could not afford to go to school because of the fees.

Melissa was able to join a CAFOD-funded school and learnt how to read and write. Having finished primary and secondary school, she has now spoken on local radio and television about the challenges of educating homeless children.

She encourages other young girls to go to school and she hopes to go to university and become a lawyer or a journalist.

She says, “I feel good about myself. When I look at where I have come from, I really feel that my future is bright.”

Advent prayer

Generous God, you give us life and fill us with potential. May we work together to ensure that all your children have the opportunity to flourish. Amen.


There is still time to buy a last-minute gift and make a difference to people who are poor throughout the world, with our World Gift e-cards or print-at-home cards. Buy a Teach someone to read World Gift and help someone to learn and fulfil their potential.

Buy a Teach someone to read World Gift

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