… we were all waiting for white smoke to appear over the Vatican as we speculated who would emerge from the conclave as the next pope. On March 13, once enough cardinals were inspired by the Holy Spirit, we met Jorge Mario Bergoglio aka Pope Francis. And what a great year it has been!

Good for business: According to a release from the Jesuit Conference of the United States, the first Jesuit pope has been good for vocations, or at least good for stimulating interest in the Jesuits. Their regional vocation offices are reporting a “significant uptick” in vocation inquiries — anywhere from a low of 67 percent to a high of 116 percent.

Pontiff in Packerland? It may be longshot that Pope Francis will accept Mayor Jim Schmitt’s invitation to visit Green Bay next year, but in 1979, did anyone think that Pope John Paul II would visit Des Moines, Iowa?

Catholic quote of the week: Even though St. Valentine’s Day is nearly a month past, I have to share this. The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, commenting in its newsletter about secular and Islamic extremism on Feb. 14, but noting how Pope Francis welcomed 10,000 engaged couples to St. Peter’s Square that day, stated, “It is so nice to be a Catholic in this sea of madness.”

Speaking of madness, how long will NCAA bracketologists ponder the fate of Wofford, Mercer and Delaware before picking them to lose in the first round? Oh, that was fast.

Holy day: Wednesday, March 12, is Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki’s 65th birthday.

Maybe I should wait to tell you: We’re in the midst of National Procrastination Week. No need to hurry your observance; it runs through Friday, March 14.