The Story of the Priest Blessing His Flock With a Holy Water Squirt Gun

FILE - In this Saturday, April 11, 2020 file photo, Rev. Timothy Pelc blesses Easter baskets outside St. Ambrose Church in Grosse Pointe Park, Mich. Pelc, wearing church vestments and protective gear, offered a prayer and sprayed holy water from a squirt gun instead of blessing baskets inside the church in a bid to maintain social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. (Natalie White via AP)

By Ellen Chamberlain

May 18, 2020

This Michigan priest is giving out drive-by blessings, because social distancing, of course.

DETROIT, MI — A Metro Detroit priest is combining Catholic kindness with some good old fashioned Michigander humor to make headlines and bring together his parishioners. 

Rev. Tim Pelc of the St. Ambrose Church in Grosse Pointe Park is saving souls and smiles with his drive-by blessings. He’s using a squirt gun to take aim at his congregation in a bid to maintain social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. He’s shooting holy water, of course.

Although Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is easing restrictions and slowly reopening the state, experts fear that a second wave of coronavirus infections could be heading for Michigan’s more rural areas. Despite his sense of humor, Rev. Tim says that the church and surrounding communities are taking the pandemic seriously.

RELATED: Rural Michiganders Have A Different Set of Problems Riding Out the Pandemic

“The original idea was to do something for the kids of the parish,” Rev. Tim told BuzzFeed News. “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?’”

Photos of the drive-by blessings gained attention on social media. In them, Rev. Tim is seen wearing a mask, face shield and rubber gloves as further precautions against spreading the coronavirus. One shows the 70-year-old priest shooting water into a car window as it stopped by the steps of the church on Easter. In another, he’s seen amid the fires of hell directing the squirt gun at devil-like figures.

SEE ALSO: The Second Wave: Michigan Businesses’ Pandemic Response Could Make All the Difference

The parish is located just outside Detroit, a city that has lost nearly 5,000 members to COVID-19. They tie blue ribbons on trees at the church for each person who has died.

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The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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