Update On Father Damian Messires

Date Published: 09/06/2008
Publication: Pokrov

Pokrov has learned that Fr. Damian Messires has been attending Holy Cross Church in Fort Meyers, Florida, for about a year. Holy Cross belongs to the Orthodox Church in America, Diocese of the South.

Fr. Damian has been using the name “Drake Messires” at the parish, and he has often attended services in the company of young boys he identified as his “foster grandsons.” “Drake” was a valued member of the church choir because of his knowledge of Orthodox music and his fine tenor voice.

However, “Drake” was ultimately recognized by people attending services at Holy Cross, and the parish priest, Fr. Leonid Palceski, was alerted to the deception. Despite evidence that Fr. Damian had joined the church under false pretenses, Fr. Leonid continued to allow Fr. Damian to attend services.