Facts About the Maronite Church and Its Parish in Houston

Maronite Church pic
Maronite Church
Image: ourladyofthecedars.net

Houston businessman Assad Boulos has established a number of restaurants including his latest, Juan Parilla that offers Latin Fusion cuisine. In addition to his professional responsibilities, Assad Boulos is an active member of the Our Lady of the Cedars Maronite Church in Houston, Texas, where he regularly hosts fundraising activities.

The Maronite Church, an Eastern Catholic Church, takes its name from St. Maron, a fourth century Syrian hermit whose followers have remained loyal to the Catholic church but have their own hierarchy and conclave. The church’s history is marked by great sufferings due to its faith and at one point, Maronites left north Syria and sought shelter in the Lebanese mountains under the shade of the cedar trees.

The establishment of Our Lady of the Cedars Maronite Church in Houston was an effort that began over two decades ago with the main building finally dedicated on March 9, 2003. Aside from offering regular masses, the parish is assisted by a number of organizations such as the parish council, which provides nonbinding advice to the priest and the community.

The Daughters of Mary, a women’s organization founded in 1994, plays a supporting role to help the priest and parish meet its goals and needs. Other partner groups include the Knights of the Cedars, Helping Hands, Maronite Youth Organization, and the church choir.

The Lebanese Roots of the Maronite Church

Lady of the Cedars pic
Lady of the Cedars
Image: ourladyofthecedars.net

Houston restaurateur Assad Boulos has over 20 years of experience in managing the daily business functions of a variety of restaurants and retail venues. His current venture is Juan Parilla, a high-end Colombian eating establishment. Aside from work, Assad Boulos regularly contributes his time and resources to his church, Our Lady of the Cedars.

Our Lady of the Cedars is a Maronite Church of the Eastern Catholic Church tradition. It was established in Houston in 1991 by Father Milad T. Yaghi and is known for its strong Lebanese community.

The origins of the Maronite Church date back to the fourth century when St. Maron,
a Syrian hermit, started drawing a number of followers who were anxious to separate themselves from a growing controversy with the church in Antioch. His followers, who became known as Maronites, eventually sought refuge in the mountains of Lebanon under the cedar trees. They actively sought to spread Christianity to the local people, and were quite successful in expanding their following.

Throughout the centuries, the Maronite church resisted numerous advances by Muslim invaders, holding fast to their beliefs and traditions in spite of intense persecution. Even today, the Maronite tradition is central to the Lebanese culture.