On October 27-28, 2023, the Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow parish in Princeton, NJ came together to joyously celebrate its 25th anniversary. The celebration started Friday night with the Akathist to the Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow, led by His Eminence, Archbishop Michael. On Saturday, October 28th, Archbishop Michael celebrated the hierarchical liturgy with concelebrating clergy, Archpriests Peter Baktis (rector of Mother of God), Gary Brenton (Dean), Paul Kucynda, and Maryan Chaykivsky, and blessed the parish's new altar.
After Liturgy, Rev. Jack Johnson, coordinator for the New Jersey Coalition of Religious Leaders, presented a letter congratulating the parish on its 25th anniversary. The letter highlighted the contributions the parish has made to the community, especially through the ministry of St. Basil’s House. Archbishop Michael presented several gramatas to the founding members of the Parish, Margery and Jan Perkins, Jackie and Nick Delarado, Joyce Allen, and Nina Robinson.
The church school students took an active role in the celebration, from greeting the archbishop with flowers to carrying candles and icons for the entrances and serving in the altar. Under the direction of church school teachers Kristina Baktis, Carrie Ellmore-Talish, and music director Katya Ermolaev, the children learned to sing and sign the Troparion to the Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow. They sang this hymn before the luncheon and displayed posters illustrating the hymn.