The Pastoral Staff: a symbol of a caring Shepherd.

The bishop’s crosier is a staff, made of either metal or wood, with a curved crook at its top. It recalls the staff used by ancient shepherds to tend their flocks. Remember how King David, who was once a shepherd himself, says in Psalm 23 that “The Lord is my shepherd”(verse 1), Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me (verse 4).

The Staff reminds both bishops and their flocks that he stands among them representing Christ, the “Good Shepherd,” who “lays down His life for His sheep” (John 10:11). This staff is held by the bishop when in procession; during the proclamation of the Gospel and the homily; when receiving religious vows and promises or a profession of faith; and when bestowing a blessing, except when the blessing includes the laying on of hands.

The Staff which His Grace Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere used on 25th January during his installation its the staff Pope Paul VI used during his visit In Uganda in August 1969. It has been kept for over 53 years in church Archives

Photo 1 below : Pope Paul VI (897-1978) officiates at an open air Mass at Kololo hill in Kampala, Uganda during an official Papal pastoral visit by Pope Paul VI to Africa in July 1969.

(Photo by Rolls Press/Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Photo 2 below: His Grace Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere Holding the staff after the mass of installation on 25th January 2022.

Photo by Wasswa Joseph Lwamulungi, Ugandan Catholics Online