He's now the bishop of Rome. But a Canadian observer expects Pope Francis will leave to visit many parts of the world during his years in office.
"I think he's going to be out there and active," says David Perlich, an expert who's covering the papal election and installation for CBC Radio.
The Pope's first trip may be back to Argentina, where he's known as an archbishop who cooked his own meals, travelled by transit - and visited families in the worst slums of Buenos Aires.
"I cannot imagine the reception he'll be getting there," Perlich said Thursday from Rome.
Perlich, once a student at Assumption School in Lethbridge, said Pope Francis will be officially installed Tuesday during an open-air celebration in St. Peter's Square.
But he's already hit the ground running. On Saturday, Perlich says, the Pope will meet reporters from around the world in the Vatican's large media centre.
On Sunday, he'll lead prayers for visitors from around the world, gathered beneath the famous papal balcony.
Though he's 76, church officials say Pope Francis enjoys good health.
"He's hale and hearty," and physically active.
On Thursday, Perlich said, the new pontiff went back to the guest house where he'd been staying, and picked up his luggage.
"Then he paid his bill and thanked all the staff."
Perlich says that's the down-to-earth reputation the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio had earned as a pastor in Argentina. He compares him to two of his predecessors, John XXIII and John Paul I.
"He has that huge simplicity of style."
As a cardinal, he was considered a moderate, he adds.
"Very likely this is a pope who will concentrate on poverty, justice and economics."
While the multi-lingual Pope is likely to travel and meet the faithful in many lands, Perlich says he's not the man who'll personally reform the Curia - the bureaucrats who run the global church from their offices in Vatican City. Instead, he'll find people who can deal with its many problems.
"He'll appoint people around him to do it."
Unlike some candidates, he says, Cardinal Bergoglio didn't arrive in Rome with a troubled history. His relative silence during Argentina's "Dirty War" seems to be the only criticism.
"But you can always second-guess a man's life."
While the election is over, Perlich says Rome is still abuzz with anticipation, as Pope Francis begins his latest ministry.
"It's been such an incredible experience," he says.
"You feel you're watching history unfold in front of your eyes."