The Most Reverend Edward M. Rice, Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis, pictured, has been named the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, according to an announcement today by Pope Francis. The diocese has been vacant since the installation of The Most Reverend James V. Johnston as Bishop of Kansas City - St. Joseph on November 4, 2015. Bishop-designate Rice is tentatively scheduled for installation on June 1, 2016.
"The diocese has been at prayer that the Holy Spirit will send us a bishop. Bishop Rice comes to us with strong administrative and pastoral experience," said Monsignor Thomas E. Reidy, who has served the church in Southern Missouri as administrator since November. "We are grateful for having such wonderful bishops in our 60-year history, and we now look forward to the leadership of Bishop Rice."
Bishop-designate Rice has served as a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Louis since his ordination in January 1987 by the late-Archbishop John L. May. During this time, Bishop Rice has served as associate pastor at Our Lady of the Presentation Parish (1987-1991); religion teacher at St. Mary's High School while residing at St. Mary Magdalen Parish (1991-1995); director at Cardinal Glennon College Seminary (1995-2000); pastor at St. John the Baptist (2000-2008); and director of vocations (2008-2010). He was appointed the title reverend monsignor in July 2008 and auxiliary bishop in December 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI.
During his episcopacy for the past five years, Bishop-designate Rice has served as vicar over five of the diocesan deaneries and overseen many of the ministries of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. These include vocations, consecrated life, intercultural and interreligious affairs, priest personnel, child and youth protection, and the St. Charles Lwanga Center.
"Let us pray for Bishop Rice as he comes among us," said Monsignor Reidy. "We expresso God our gratitude that we once again have the pastoral presence of a bishop in Springfield-Cape Girardeau."