Detroit Priest Becomes Meme For Squirting Holy Water At Churchgoers At Socially-Distanced Service

by : Julia Banim on : 17 May 2020 11:17
Detroit Priest Becomes Meme For Squirting Holy Water At Churchgoers At Socially-Distanced Servicetripgore/Twitter/stambroseparish/Facebook

A priest from Detroit has gone viral after squirting holy water at his flock during a socially-distanced service.

Father Tim Pelc was photographed getting creative with his methods of blessing his congregation’s Easter Food Baskets during a Holy Week service.


In what has been described as a ‘drive-thru style’ blessing, Father Pelc could be seen squirting the baskets from a safe and responsible distance, allowing the parish of St. Ambrose to continue with their Easter traditions.

Blessing of the Easter Foods, April 11, 2020Adapting to the need for social distancing, St. Ambrose continued it's…

Posted by St. Ambrose Parish on Sunday, April 12, 2020

The pics were initially snapped by parishioner Larry Peplin, and brought a smile to many faces after being shared by the St. Ambrose Parish Facebook group back in April.

In the weeks since, Father Pelc and his water gun have been widely shared on Twitter, providing inspiration for countless timely memes.


The photographs have even sparked a Photoshop Battle thread on Reddit, where, with the magic of Photoshop, Father Pelc has been edited into films such as post-apocalyptic comedy Zombieland and The Exorcist, as well as classic shooter video games like Doom.

Another amusing Photoshop job shows Father Pelc plonked into the violent world of Pulp Fiction, brandishing his now famous water gun alongside John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson.

Speaking with Buzzfeed News about his sudden viral fame, Father Pelc – who reportedly tries to steer clear of social media – said:


The original idea was to do something for the kids of the parish. 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?

Pelc, 70, has reportedly been with the parish for 40 years, and takes pride in his ‘pretty wacky mind and pretty accepting congregation’.

Prior to the unusual service, Father Pelc reportedly spoke with an emergency room doctor friend about how the blessing could be done safely:

He said, ‘Not only is this safe, this is fun. 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.


It’s an internet law: once a post or photo about you goes viral, you must end up in a meme. Now it’s happened to Fr….

Posted by St. Ambrose Parish on Friday, May 15, 2020

Father Pelc is reportedly happy with his new role as a ‘masked avenger’, and is pleased that his service has brought a bit of optimism to all those struggling with the current situation.

It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.

Most Read StoriesMost Read


Met Police Will Not Investigate Downing Street Christmas Party

Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Life, Detroit, meme, Priest


Buzzfeed News and 2 others
  1. Buzzfeed News

    This Priest Squirted Holy Water At Churchgoers At A Socially-Distanced Service And He's Now A Meme

  2. St. Ambrose Parish/Facebook

    @St. Ambrose Parish

  3. Reddit

    PsBattle: Priest spraying holy water with a water-pistol