On Easter, cars lined up before the St. Ambrose Parish in Detroit, United States drive-thru style. Behind a blue ribbon lined between two large potted plants stood a priest, decked out in protective gear, holding a bible while wearing disposable gloves. He also had a water gun filled with holy water.
Father Timothy R. Pelc is now viral after photos of him blessing people inside their cars with a neon green toy pistol were posted online.
He initially toyed with the idea of distributing “little plastic vials of holy water,” Pelc told CNN, but eventually decided on squirting them with a plastic gun instead. He had consulted with an emergency room doctor, who supplied him with the necessary protective equipment. About 50 congregants arrived to have their Easter baskets blessed that day.
A priest using a toy to squirt holy water into people’s cars hilariously sums up how we’re all adapting our traditions in the face of a global pandemic and social distancing measures. It also made for some really good memes.
This photoshopped movie poster features Pelc in the classic The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
This photo depicts him alongside fire fighters, trying to quell raging flames with his iconic green water pistol.
This scene from The Exorcist shows Pelc expelling demons from a safe distance.
Pelc is taking these memes with good humour. He told Buzzfeed News that he thinks the photos went viral because they provide some optimism amidst the bleakness that has enveloped people during the pandemic.
Here’s one of him as a third hitman in Pulp Fiction, or, as one quick-witted Reddit user put it, Pope Fiction.
Pelc also made an appearance with stormtroopers, his water gun repurposed into a deadly blaster.
“Everybody just caaaaaaalm down.” Fans of The Office will appreciate his cameo in the intense standoff scene.
The priest's favourite meme so far? A cartoon version of him shooting demons in hell with his toy pistol, a reference to the video game Doom.
Like many churches around the world, Pelc’s parish has also been live streaming their services on Facebook. These livestreams have become so popular that they are now considering making them a permanent broadcast.
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This article originally appeared on VICE ASIA.