A Detroit priest has taken social media by storm after photos emerged of him using a squirt gun to sprinkle holy water on churchgoers. The photos were taken during Easter in mid-April, but netizens chanced on them only recently, and now memes of the priest have flooded social media.
Father Timothy Pelc wore a mask and plastic visor as he used a plastic squirt gun to spray holy water on parishioners because the churches were closed in the US. A month later, the Catholic priest who serves at the St. Ambrose Parish in Michigan’s Grosse Pointe Park is the subject of multiple memes.
Since the photos were discovered, there were various memes and photoshop versions that surfaced on Twitter and Reddit.
Many more such pictures were also shared online. “If we only keep one thing from this pandemic, I hope it’s priests with water pistols,” tweeted @bethbourdon while sharing several pictures of priests using water pistols.
if we only keep one thing from this pandemic, i hope it’s priests with water pistols pic.twitter.com/2LNCjqEFtc
— beth (@bethbourdon) May 24, 2020
There’s one of him surrounded by firefighters and one featuring him in an iconic scene from the film Pulp Fiction, but the priest admitted to favouring one in which he’s in the poster of video game Doom.
The church also shared one of the memes featuring the priest and said in its post: “It’s an internet law: once a post or photo about you goes viral, you must end up in a meme.”
“We’re looking for something to save us from something — either the virus, loneliness or whatever,” the priest told CNN, while admitting that he had seen the memes.
A Priest giving social distance blessings with a squirt pistol and what, I’m assuming, is Holy water. 2020 folks. pic.twitter.com/iDnYs33hs9
— Jeff Barnaby (@tripgore) May 15, 2020
When you walk through the valley of the shadow of death but also make time for some fun along the way pic.twitter.com/z6iCDtKPjA
— long time no seal (@HNSeal2) May 16, 2020
Speaking about how he came up with the idea to use a toy gun, the priest said that one of his parishioners, a doctor, discussed various safe options for him to bless Easter baskets.
“If you can’t have fun with your faith, what can you have fun with?” Pelc told CNN.
Speaking about his newfound fame, Pelc told BuzzFeed News that he was just a little concerned about how the Vatican might react to the viral photos. “I haven’t heard anything yet,” he said.
The church’s parishioners also tied more than 3,000 ribbons on tree branches in memory of those from the city who have died from the virus. As the death toll grew, there was a problem and Pelc told CBS News that he had the “sad” realisation that they were “gonna need more trees.”
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