squirt gun priest

St. Ambrose Parish

Detroit priest becomes a viral meme for using squirt guns to give holy water blessings

'You can't have a church without the pews...'

May 18, 2020, 12:47 pm*

Internet Culture

Stacey Ritzen 

Stacey Ritzen

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many businesses and operations to come up with creative ways of interacting with the public—such as employing curbside pickup and contactless delivery methods. But the virus presented an especially complicated dilemma for members of the clergy, who are used to blessing parishioners with holy water. At least one came up with a brilliant solution involving some holy water and a squirt gun.

Advertisement Hide

Father Tim Pelc of the St. Ambrose Parish, a Detroit-area “communio” of Catholic Christians, recently discovered that he could get around the virus by filling a dang squirt gun with holy water. But before you get the mental image of a rogue priest literally squirting the devil out of people, Pelc, 70, originally got the idea as a way of blessing his parishioners’ Easter baskets from a respectably safe distance.

Advertisement Hide

The photos were initially posted to the church’s Facebook page at the time—though, just recently, they’ve surfaced on Twitter where Pelc has become a legit viral sensation.

Advertisement Hide

Pelc, 70, who admits to having a “pretty wacky mind and pretty accepting congregation,” told BuzzFeed News that his original idea was to do something fun for the kids of the parish.

“They were about ready to have an Easter unlike any of their past,” he said. “So I thought, What can we still do that would observe all the protocols of social distancing?”

Before going forward with it, Pelc consulted with an emergency room doctor friend, who gave the idea his blessing, so to speak. His friend not only provided him with all the necessary equipment to stay safe from the virus, but even turned out with his own kids.

“It was a way of continuing an ancient custom, and people seemed to enjoy it,” Pelc added, in the understatement of the year. Photos of Pelc with his squirt have since become a full-blown meme on social media, with people sharing the image with plenty of jokes.

Advertisement Hide
Advertisement Hide

And yes, there were “pew” jokes galore:

https://twitter.com/valriejoanne/status/1261640154155937792
Advertisement Hide

Over on Reddit, Pelc and his squirt gun became the subject of a Photoshop battle. His favorite is apparently an image of himself Photoshopped onto an old Doom video game box.

Advertisement Hide
Advertisement Hide
Advertisement Hide

Both Pelc and his church (also gleefully sharing the memes on Facebook) are delighted with the father’s (and his squirt gun’s) newfound fame.

Advertisement Hide

“I’m not objecting to it,” he said. “This whole idea of combating evil is a good one. When Jesus dies, he doesn’t just lay around doing nothing. He goes down to hell and kicks the doors in. He really wrestles with evil. We all want to believe that the devil is not the most powerful force on the earth and neither is COVID-19.”

Take that, COVID-19. Father Pelc and his squirt gun are coming for you, and they are all out of bubblegum.

READ MORE:

Share this article
*First Published: May 18, 2020, 12:46 pm