Argentine Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio was elected pope Wednesday and chose the name Pope Francis.
Michigan Catholic Conference President Paul A. Long said his group welcomes the choice "with a profound sense of happiness and joy."
Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron said he joins "all the faithful in thanking Christ for this grace."
The leader of 1.3 million southeastern Michigan Catholics led a vespers service marking the event. Afterward, Vigneron told reporters the choice of a Latin American pope is significant for a growing segment of the Catholic church in Detroit and elsewhere.
Vigneron said the name recognizes "two great evangelizing saints," Francis Xavier and Francis of Assisi.