Detroit priest goes viral after using water pistol for socially distanced holy water blessing

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Detroit priest goes viral after using water pistol for socially distanced holy water blessing

Detroit priest goes viral after using water pistol for socially distanced holy water blessing

A Roman Catholic priest in the Detroit area has taken aim at his parishioners in a bid to maintain social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, using a squirt gun to shoot holy water.

Father Tim Pelc told Buzzfeed News that he wanted to find a way to safely continue the tradition of blessing Easter baskets amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The method helps him maintain social distancing from parishioners who drive up to the church.

The photos of the priest at the church in Grosse Pointe Park were taken at Easter but have recently gone viral and have inspired memes online. One shows the 70-year-old priest amid the fires of hell directing the squirt gun at devil-like figures.

He wore a mask, face shield and rubber gloves as further precautions against spreading coronavirus.

The idea was to find a way to continue a tradition of blessing Easter baskets despite the pandemic. One photo shows Pelc standing behind a car with its hatchback door up, shooting water at a basket of flowers. He said he has a “pretty wacky mind and pretty accepting congregation”.

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Pelc said he thinks the photos have taken off online because not only are they fun, they’ve also provided a bit of optimism for those feeling a sense of hopelessness during the coronavirus pandemic.

The sudden internet popularity has come as a pleasant surprise to Pelc, 70, who’s been with the parish in Detroit for 30 years and prides himself on having a “pretty wacky mind and pretty accepting congregation.”

Detroit’s death toll remains at 1,257. The city added 22 confirmed cases on Sunday, a decline from the 92 cases reported Friday, bringing the total of COVID-19 cases to 10,373.

In the past seven days, 44 deaths have occurred in the hard-hit city, showcasing a decline in deaths from the week prior, according to the city’s data.

Michigan and Detroit have not reported numbers as low as Sunday’s since March, when the pandemic began, data shows.