ST. LOUIS, Missouri, DEC. 1, 2010 ( Benedict XVI named Monsignor Edward Rice, vocations director for the St. Louis Archdiocese, as auxiliary bishop of that same region.

Bishop-elect Rice, 50, has been a priest in that archdiocese since 1987. He will serve under Archbishop Robert Carlson.

The Pope also accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Robert Hermann, 76, who has been serving in St. Louis and retired for reasons of age.

The St. Louis Archdiocese has 572,000 Catholics served by 716 priests, 262 permanent deacons and 1,983 religious.

Papua New Guinea

The Pontiff also appointed Bishop Stephen Reichert, 67, of Mendi, Papua New Guinea, as archbishop of Madang.

Archbishop Reichert succeeds Archbishop William Kurtz, 75, who retired due to his age.

Born in Leoville, Kansas, Stephen Reichert was ordained a Capuchin priest in 1969. He was appointed bishop of Mendi in 1995.

The Madang Archdiocese has 153,000 Catholics, with 39 priests and 81 religious.

Other appointments

The Holy Father appointed Cardinal Paolo Sardi, 76, vice chamberlain of Apostolic Chamber, as patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

The prelate was named pro-patron of the order last year; the title "pro" indicated that he was not at that time a cardinal. However, he became a cardinal at the Nov. 20 consistory, and thus he also was named the patron of the order.

As patron, Cardinal Sardi will promote the spiritual interests of the order and its members and its relations with the Holy See.

The Pope accepted the resignation of two prelates: Bishop John Smith of Trenton, New Jersey, and Archbishop Floribert Songasonga Mwitwa of Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Bishop Smith, 75, who reached the age of retirement, is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop David O'Connell, 55.

Archbishop Mwitwa, 73, who resigned in accordance with canon 401 paragraph 2 of the Code of Canon Law, is succeeded by Coadjutor Archbishop Jean-Pierre Tafunga Mbayo, 68.