Thursday evening at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Bishop Edward M. Rice took over as the newly appointed head of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. Pope Francis appointed Rice as bishop-designate of the 25,000-square-mile diocese in April, and Rice officially was installed Wednesday at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Springfield. After that he headed to Cape Girardeau to celebrate an evening Mass on Thursday with the religious and lay people in this part of his 66-parish, 39-county ministry. The diocese had been without a religious leader since November, when Bishop James V. Johnston Jr. was reassigned to the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. Rice is now the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.