Internet has blast with Grosse Pointe priest's holy water squirt gun for social distance Easter blessings

"Just on a lark I said what if we use a squirt gun," said Father Timothy Pelc.

It was the shot meme-d around the world. Images of Father Tim Pelc went viral as the priest of St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Grosse Pointe Park was seen blessing Easter baskets with a squirt gun loaded with holy water. 

"I began thinking what could we do that would give the kids in the parish some experience at Easter, (and) something positive that they would remember," he said.

The sacred gun play was on target for practicing social distancing and limiting contact to stem the spread of COVID-19.

The moment made news Easter weekend and is finding new life more than a month later, after the pictures became part of a Photoshop contest and then, epic memes.

"So they started using the image of the blessing and putting it in action movies and action posters," he said.

Father Pelc's favorite?

"Doom. Doom without a question," he said. "It represents all of those who are battling the disease: the hospital workers; it represents the vaccine; it represents someone who's going to be tough and who's going to be there to help when we can't help ourselves anymore."

The viral moment reminding us just how much the covid-19 crisis is shaking up life as we know it.  It's even changing, at least for now, how the faithful worship.

"We're not going to be able to go to Eucharist under bread and wine like we used to," he said. "We're not going to see the different ministries at the altar like we used to."

For Catholics in metro Detroit, public masses resume this week and Pelc says while the changes meant to prevent a spike in COVID-19 cases will leave many disappointed, it will not leave their faith unrecognizable.  

"The essential core is going to be enhanced - and it has to be," he said. "And the essential core, at least for we Christians, is the Lord comes into our lives and says 'I got this' and 'I've got you covered.'"

Pelc says that the new masses for now can only be at 25 percent capacity and everyone must wear a facemask. Several other churches are getting back to public worship services, but they are only doing so with strict social distancing guidelines in place - while other churches are holding off on those public gatherings.