The gregarious leader of the Roman Catholic Church in New York is predicting a successor to Pope Benedict XVI could be chosen by Thursday, according to an ABC News report.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, one of 115 cardinals who will select the new pontiff, wrote to priests in his archdiocese that his “guess” was that a pope would be chosen by Thursday night and installed early next week, ABC reported.

A plume of black smoke rose Tuesday evening above St. Peter’s Square, signaling that no pope had been chosen during the first session of the papal conclave inside the Sistine Chapel.

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On Wednesday and each day of the conclave, the cardinals will have breakfast between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. Rome time, celebrate Mass in the Pauline Chapel, and then at 9:30 a.m. (4:30 a.m. Boston time) return to the Sistine Chapel to pray and vote. They take a lengthy lunch break from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., then begin a second round of voting before breaking for the night at 7:30 p.m.