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Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield–Cape Girardeau

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Parishes  66
Rite  Roman Rite
Bishop  Edward M. Rice
Emeritus bishop  John Joseph Leibrecht
Denomination  Roman Catholic
Area  25,719 km²
Country  United States of America
Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield–Cape Girardeau dioscgorgwpcontentuploads201501BpTomPatrick
Territory  39 counties across Southern Missouri
Population - Total - Catholics  (as of 2010) 1,269,180 68,217 (5.4%)
Established  August 24, 1956 (60 years ago)
Cathedral  St. Agnes Cathedral (Springfield)
Ecclesiastical province  Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis
Patron saints  Rose Philippine Duchesne, Pope Pius X

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield–Cape Girardeau (Latin: Dioecesis Campifontis–Capitis Girardeauensis) is a Roman Catholic diocese in Missouri. The diocese is governed by Bishop Edward M. Rice.



The diocese was formed on August 24, 1956 from the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Diocese of Kansas City. It consists of 39 primarily rural counties in the southern third of Missouri that include the urban areas of Springfield (the diocese headquarters), Branson and Cape Girardeau.

The diocese has two cathedrals: St. Agnes Cathedral in Springfield and the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Cape Girardeau. The two cathedrals are often (mistakenly) referred to as co-cathedrals. The diocese established the Cape Girardeau cathedral as part of an eventual plan to create a separate diocese in Cape Girardeau.


The diocese includes 66 parishes, 19 missions, 2 chapels, and, as of a 2003 estimate, 63,179 Catholics. The diocese has an increasing Hispanic population.

This region is mainly located in the Ozarks and Bootheel of Missouri, where Catholics make up about 5% of the total population. The religion of the Ozarks, in particular, is notably individualistic and conservative; a major Christian denomination in the region is Pentecostalism.

Each year, tens of thousands of Vietnamese American Catholics converge on Carthage, at the western end of the diocese, to participate in the Marian Days celebration.


The bishops of the diocese and their terms of service:

  1. Charles Herman Helmsing (1956–1962); appointed Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph
  2. Ignatius Jerome Strecker (1962–1969); appointed Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas
  3. William Wakefield Baum (1970–1973); appointed Archbishop of Washington; Cardinal in 1976
  4. Bernard Francis Law (1973–1984); appointed Archbishop of Boston; Cardinal in 1985
  5. John Joseph Leibrecht (1984–2008); retired
  6. James Vann Johnston, Jr. (2008–2015); appointed Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph
  7. Edward M. Rice (2016-)

High schools

  • McAuley Catholic High School, Joplin
  • Notre Dame High School, Cape Girardeau
  • Springfield Catholic High School, Springfield
  • References

    Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield–Cape Girardeau Wikipedia

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