NEWS
19/05/2020 10:10 AM AEST

Priest Goes Viral After Using Squirt Gun Full Of Holy Water To Bless Churchgoers

Father Tim Pelc’s creative solution to social distancing has inspired memes and a Photoshop battle his Michigan church called “pretty clever.”

Holy soaks.

A Roman Catholic priest from Michigan has blessed the internet with some hilarious memes after photos of him using a squirt gun to spray parishioners with holy water went viral.

Larry Peplin

Five weeks ago, Father Tim Pelc of St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church in Detroit was trying to figure out how to maintain social distancing during Holy Week amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Larry Peplin

“I thought, what could I do that would keep the quarantine restrictions going and give kids the experience of Easter?” he told “Today.”

Pelc eventually landed on the idea of doing a truly whimsical drive-thru for the holiday. Churchgoers could pull up in their cars and he’d bless their Easter baskets with a water gun from the safe distance of a curb.

Larry Peplin

Pelc even consulted with an emergency room doctor to make sure it wouldn’t put anyone at risk.

Larry Peplin

“He said, ‘Not only is this safe, this is fun,’ and he came with his kids,” Pelc told BuzzFeed News. “He provided me with all the personal protection stuff that I needed. The sun was out. We had a nice turnout. It was a way of continuing an ancient custom, and people seemed to enjoy it.”

Larry Peplin

And although St. Ambrose’s Facebook page posted photos of this sweet and silly reprieve from daunting COVID-19 news over a month ago, the photos only went viral late last week due to a popular Twitter thread and a very funny Photoshop battle on Reddit, where users edited Pelc and his squirt gun into a variety of images. 

St. Ambrose seemed to embrace the attention and even posted an altar-ed photo of Pelc on its Facebook page calling the image and its ilk “pretty clever.”

Pelc, however, seems a bit uneasy with his newfound fame.

“I’m a little reluctant. If I didn’t have a mask on in these photos, I probably wouldn’t be as happy,” he told BuzzFeed. “But I’m perfectly happy being the masked avenger here.”