Priest Shoots Holy Water From Toy Gun [video]

A priest shoots holy water from a toy gun in this story of a Catholic church thinking outside the box.

First we see the outside of the church itself as clouds roll by. The scene cuts to a young boy ringing the church bell inside. A voice-over comments on it:

“The bells of change are ringing.”

We then see the priest standing in front of his congregation as the voice-over continues:

“Take a close look at the priest’s robe. Yes, that’s an image of Superman on his back, and if you look just above, you’ll notice the Batman logo.”

We then cut to Father Umberto Alvarez talking outside the church in Spanish as the voice-over says:

“Father Umberto Alvarez says his purpose is the break with protocol and depart from tradition to energize parishioners. Especially the youngest ones.”

It then cuts to scenes from The Amazing Spider-Man as the voice-over continues:

“He also uses Spider-Man’s story to inspire children.”

A different voice-over starts in, translating as footage rolls along from the movie and the church:

“He’s a character who appears to be lethargic and sleepy in his personal life. And the message is that in the same way that Spider-Man awakens when he must do good, our young people must do the same.”

The original voice-over cuts in again as more scenes from the church play through as the priest feeds wafers to the children:

“Using super heroes for inspiration is just the beginning. When it comes to dispensing holy water, Father Alvarez uses a water gun, and children at his mass seem delighted. On a recent Sunday it was standing room only at Father Alvarez’s church.”

We see Father Umberto Alvarez shooting a water pistol into the crowd at the amusement of children surrounding him. The translator cuts in:

“For eleven years this place was dead. Thanks to the new style of doing mass, people have responded in an incredible way. It’s not only about spreading the gospel, but also about having people commit to something.”

The scene changes to a road sign saying “Saltillo” as the first voice-over starts in again:

“[The] leader of a powerful drug cartel was arrested in Saltillo in November and drug crime has plagued this part of Mexico in recent years. The priest says he only deals with toy guns, and asks his children to stay as far away as possible from the real thing. Parents seem to approve of his way of reaching out to children.”

The scene cuts away to a Mexican woman who speaks directly into the camera as a female translator tells us:

“I’m very glad about it, because this mass has attracted a lot of children, and also the parents have gotten closer to the church.”

A regular CNN announcer, Rafael Romo, then takes the screen in classic newsroom fashion:

“Father Alvarez says he has the blessing of church authorities, and even though some conservative Catholics have complained about his style, most parishioners like him, because they’re seeing results, and because his more compelling message is reaching more people than ever before.”

How do you feel about this priest shooting holy water from a toy gun?