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Priest Becomes Viral Meme After Blessing Churchgoers With A Squirt Gun

Caitlyn Clancey 18 May 2020

I'll be honest here, I haven't been to a church service in awhile. But despite how many years it's been, I can say with absolutely certainty that I definitely don't remember my priest whipping out a toy squirt gun in the middle of mass.

Something like that probably would have inspired me to keep attending.

Believe it or not, a Michigan priest did just that during a recent socially-distanced service and has since been given the good ol' meme treatment online — quite rightfully so.

Last month, Father Tim Pelc held the socially responsible Holy Week service in Detroit where he got... creative when it came time to bless churchgoers.

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"The original idea was to do something for the kids of the parish," Pelc 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?'"

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The answer? Fill a toy squirt gun full of Holy Water and spray his parishioners as they drive past him, of course.

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Pelc actually consulted with his friend, an emergency room doctor in Detroit, before he decided to go ahead with his toy gun plans.

"He said, 'Not only is this safe, this is fun,' and he came with his kids," Pelc recalled. "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."

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Photos of the lighthearted service were shared to the church's Facebook page where they quickly (and understandably) went viral.

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"Adapting to the need for social distancing, St. Ambrose continued it's tradition of Blessing of Easter Food Baskets, drive-thru style," the post's caption reads. "Yes, that's Fr. Tim using a squirt gun full of Holy Water!"

As of writing, the post has been shared over 600 times and has over 500 reactions. But it was once those photos hit other social media platforms that Father Tim really went viral.

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Twitter user Jeff Barnaby shared a snap of Pelc's squirt gun in action, summarizing the bizarre sight perfectly with, "2020 folks."

In just a matter of days that post quite literally exploded on the internet, garnering hundreds of thousands of reactions from amused Twitter users.

"That's rather unorthodox," one cheeky person quipped, while another channeled their inner Clint Eastwood and wrote, "'I know what you’re thinkin’ punk, did I give you six Hail Marys or only five...'”

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Just like with anything else that goes viral nowadays, Pelc quickly turned into a hilarious meme.

Reddit | Tomdoerr88

In fact, the photos of the priest inspired an all-out photoshop battle on Reddit.

Here we see someone's humorous take on the classic western, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly's movie poster. I must admit, Father Tim fits quite nicely alongside his costars, don't you agree?

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This person actually gave Pelc the hero treatment and put his water gun to work alongside some firemen.

Reddit | AnnoyedExile

Maybe I'm totally off-base here, but I think trying to extinguish massive flames with Holy Water is at least worth a shot.


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Okay, you can't tell me you didn't see this one coming.

Reddit | randomusernames

The second I saw Pelc using that squirt gun, I immediately thought of The Exorcist.

This kind of demon-exorcising tactic would certainly make the whole process much easier (not to mention safer), since it would allow priests to stand back while they do it.

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At the end of the day, Pelc said he's pleased with the response his creative twist on blessings has received.

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"It was a good news story and people were in the mood for something like that," he told Buzzfeed News of his newfound viral fame. "It was big in Ukraine, and the Germans are funny — that led to a whole sub-discussion about the types of water pistols."

He added, "It even had two hits in the Vatican, which sort of concerned me, but I haven’t heard anything yet."

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Christine Busque, who manages the church's Facebook page and posted the original photos, said she's happy people are appreciating Pelc's sense of humor.

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After all, the ongoing outbreak has certainly left us all in dire need of a good laugh or two lately.

“People wanted to have a bright side to the things that are happening in the world right now," Busque told Buzzfeed News. "They saw that, and I think they saw that he cared about his parishioners enough to want to keep his traditions alive but work [within] the CDC guidelines of being safe."

h/t: Buzzfeed News, Photos: Facebook | St. Ambrose Parish

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