Traditionally, the fourth Sunday of the Easter Season is known as Good Shepherd Sunday and at two Viatorian parishes, that story came to life.

Fr. Bill Haesaert tells the story of the Good Shepherd to his flock.

At St. Viator Parish School in Las Vegas, pre-school students gathered last month for one of the school’s most cherished traditions: Hearing of the parable of the Good Shepherd from Fr. Bill Haesaert, CSV.

He has reenacted the story for more than 20 years, letting students learn first hand what happens when a shepherd loses one of his flock.

“It’s a privilege for me, for many, many years,” Fr. Bill says, “to come over to the kids and tell them about the good shepherd.”

Fr. Bill served as Associate Pastor at St. Viator Catholic Community from 1996 to 2013. Now retired, he is a frequent visitor to the school, where students in all grade levels think of them as their good shepherd.

Children at Maternity BVM become sheep.

The well-known parable from John 10:27, describes a shepherd who had 100 sheep, but when one gets lost the shepherd leaves the other 99 to search for the one.

At Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais, children heard the story in the Children’s Liturgy of the Word gathering while their parents contemplated the gospel in church.

“Jesus is the Good Shepherd who always takes care of us,” parish leaders said. “We love when our little ones pray with us.”

Fr. Bill Haesaert describes the Last Supper.

In both parishes, the children became the lambs, putting little paper lamb faces on their heads. At St. Viator Parish, Fr. Bill looked around for the one lost sheep, in order to gather his sheep and lead them back home. While he searched, the rest of the flock was left to pray. When he returned triumphantly, all the children cheered.

The tradition concluded with a celebration of the Last Supper, with Fr. Bill breaking a loaf of Hawaiian bread and holding up a chalice of white grape juice. The children all partook but the story was not over.

When they are all done eating , Fr. Bill requested his two favorite songs for the children to sing: Jesus Died for You and Me, and God’s Not Dead, He is ALIVE.