STATEMENT of BISHOP EDWARD M. RICE on his appointment as Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau
I am humbled by the confidence of the Holy Father and I am grateful or his support in appointing me the seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. In that role I wish to extend to Pope Francis the prayers and love of the clergy, Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.
I am grateful to Monsignor Thomas E. Reidy who has administered the Diocese since the appointment of Bishop Johnston to the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph last year. I look forward to building on the good work of Bishop James Johnston and of course, Bishop John Leibrecht, the beloved Bishop-emeritus of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, whom I have known since my high school days parking cars at the Old Cathedral in St. Louis.
Since the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, 2011, a few months after my episcopal consecration, I have been intentionally praying for my future diocese. Specifically for the priests and religious, to be clothed in holiness and inspire vocations; for the laity, renewal of marriage and family life; and for the youth, to come to know Christ and be zealous for our faith.
The roots of Catholicism run deep here in the 39 counties of southern Missouri, and I am excited to partner with my brother priests in spreading the beauty of our Catholic Faith in the spirit of the New Evangelization.
At the same time, I leave the Archdiocese of St. Louis with a grateful heart, where I served as a priest for 29 years and as Auxiliary Bishop for five years, working side-by-side with our Metropolitan Archbishop, Robert Carlson, and the staff of the archdiocese. I owe a debt of profound gratitude to Archbishop Carlson, the priests, religious, and the good lay people of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
I see the hand of God in this appointment. His loving Providence has brought me to this moment and I rely on that same loving Providence to assist me as I strive to walk in the way of Christ, the Good Shepherd, who will continue to guide my way if I but seek to do His will. Finally, I ask the intercession of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne and Pope St. Pius X, patrons of our Diocese, all under the mantle of Our Lady of Mercy.