Armed with a squirt gun loaded with holy water, a Roman Catholic priest from Detroit has caught the attention of the internet, in his unorthodox yet fun way of blessing his congregation while still abiding by the social distancing guidelines due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Father Timothy Pelc, the priest turned "marksman", went viral on social media after photos of him shooting holy water into window of a car passing by was posted. The priest was also equipped with personal protective equipment. Wearing a face mask, face shield, and rubber gloves, he looked ready to battle evil and combat coronavirus at the same time.
Although the photos were taken back in Easter, they have only recently gone viral and has even inspired various memes on the internet.
One of those that caught attention was a parody of the movie poster of Sergio Leone's "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly." The meme replaced the last frame in the poster with Father Pelc holding his squirt gun and changed the title to "The Good, The Bad, and The Holy Spirit."
It’s an internet law: once a post or photo about you goes viral, you must end up in a meme. Now it’s happened to Fr.... Posted by St. Ambrose Parish on Friday, May 15, 2020
Bright Idea Amid a Grim Situation
According to the 70-year-old priest, the idea of using a squirt gun came up during a discussion with a parishioner who was also a physician before the holy week. They were in the middle of a discussion on safe ways to bless Easter Baskets amid the coronavirus pandemic since they were told that handing out palms is not allowed due to possible cross-contamination.
After a thorough discussion, they decided to use a squirt gun to bless people with holy water. They even initially considered giving out vials with holy water but it would still defeat the purpose of avoiding cross-contamination. Thus, they discussed that squirt gun option was the best way to go but Father Pelc should still wear PPE and stand at several feet away from the cars that would pass.
According to Pelc, the church and the communities surrounding it have taken the outbreak seriously and are afraid to leave their homes. He also added that as s symbol of solidarity, blue ribbons were tied on trees by parishioners in remembrance of people from Michigan who succumbed to the killer virus. As of the moment, the number is already nearing the 5000-mark.
Based on reports, the photos of Pelc armed with the squirt gun were posted on the church's Facebook Page last month but they have recently been taken down from Twitter after receiving more than a hundred thousand retweets.
In an interview with Buzzfeed News, Pelc said that he is a little worried about the Vatican's possible reaction to the photos, but he has not heard from them yet. He also stated that he wants people to learn from his actions and remember that in these times that the world is engulfed by a health crisis, having fun is also an option.
"If you can't have fun with your faith, what can you have fun with?" said the priest.