Social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic isn’t going to keep Father Tim Pelc from doing his job.
The Catholic priest serves St. Ambrose Parish in Grosse Point Park, Michigan, and has been with the parish for 30 years. He wasn’t about to let Holy Week services go by without taking care of his parishioners.
Catholic Priest Uses Squirt Gun to Bless Parishioners
Father Pelc knew that he wouldn’t be able to hand out palms due to the pandemic.
Before Holy Week, the priest talked to one of his parishioners, an emergency room physician. They discussed safe options for the traditional blessing of Easter baskets at the Detroit-area church.
As you can tell, they settled on the squirt gun. Pelc, wearing a face mask, shield, and gloves, stood several feet from cars as he hit them with holy water — drive-thru style.
He wasn’t about to let those Easter baskets go without a blessing!
His idea to use the water gun came as he tried to come up with something for the kids.
“The original idea was to do something for the kids of the parish,” the Catholic priest told BuzzFeed News. “They were about ready to have an Easter unlike any of their past, so I thought, ‘What can we still do that would observe all the protocols of social distancing?'”
According to Pelc, “It was a way of continuing an ancient custom, and people seemed to enjoy it.”
Priest Goes Viral for Squirt Gun of Holy Water
You know who else enjoyed it? The internet.
This priest has now gone viral — his photos have been shared far and wide.
“It even had two hits in the Vatican,” Father Pelc said, though he admits that “sort of concerned me, but I haven’t heard anything yet.”
On top of that, his photos have rocketed him to meme fame, and even sparked a Reddit Photoshop battle.
His sudden internet popularity is a pleasant surprise. The 70-year-old priest prides himself on having a “pretty wacky mind and pretty accepting congregation.”
Father Pelc is happy to see his parishioners and his city taking the outbreak seriously, though.
“Detroiters are taking lockdown very seriously,” he said. And although the media has been showing people in Michigan with assault rifles protesting, Pelc said “that’s not the mood I’m getting” in southeastern Michigan.
Michigan has the fourth-highest COVID-19 death toll in the United States currently, with more than 4,800 deaths and over 50,000 cases.