The shepherd stave, or crosier, borne by the Good Shepherd in the image above, is similar to the ones carried by prelates of the Church. From the Catholic Encyclopedia, the learned Durandus and Barbosa tell us of the significance of these ecclesiastical ornaments conferred on bishops during their consecration:
(They) signify their authority to correct vices, stimulate piety, administer punishment, and thus rule and govern with a gentleness that is tempered with severity. (...) As the rod of Moses was the seal and emblem of his Divine commission as well as the instrument of the miracles he wrought, so is the episcopal staff the symbol of that doctrinal and disciplinary power of bishops in virtue of which they may sustain the weak and faltering, confirm the wavering in faith, and lead back the erring ones into the true fold. (...) The end is sharp and pointed wherewith to prick and goad the slothful, the middle is straight to signify righteous rule, while the head is bent or crooked in order to draw in and attract souls to the ways of God.