It’s not just teens and moms going viral on social media during quarantine, but Roman Catholic priests too. Photos of Father Tim Pelc are going viral after he used a water gun to spray parishioners with holy water in an attempt to maintain social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.
The photos were taken five weeks ago and shared on social media during Holy Week by the St. Ambrose Church in Gross Pointe, Michigan. Those photos are now going viral as platforms like Reddit have taken to sharing memes using the priest photos.
In the original images, Pelc is wearing a mask, a plastic face shield, and rubber gloves in addition to his usual service attire. He holds a squirt gun in one hand and a Bible in the other as he shoots holy water into car windows as they stop by the steps of the church.
Pelc told TODAY that he wanted to find a safe way to continue the tradition of blessing Easter baskets and keep the quarantined holiday a good one for kids. He consulted his friend, an emergency room doctor from Detroit, if his idea was safe for social distancing.
“He said, ‘Not only is this safe, this is fun,’ and he came with his kids,” Pelc said to 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.”
As for his newfound internet fame, Pelc is glad that he has the chance to share some happiness in his community and online. Although he was a bit concerned about how the Vatican may react to his viral photos, he told Buzzfeed News, “I haven’t heard anything yet.”