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.