The second-oldest church in Mérida is also one of the most welcoming and ecumenical.
Monjas is formally known as La Iglesia de Monjas. (Monjas means “nuns.”)
The convent, originally called Our Lady of Consolation, occupied an entire city block and was a self-contained complex. Within the convent walls were a church, residential areas for 40 nuns, courtyards, gardens, and food production areas. What remains today is the church and a couple of courtyards on the southeast corner of the intersection of Calles 63 and 64.
On June 22, 1596 the first nuns took possession of what is now Monjas and 37 years later (June 9, 1633) the first Eucharist was celebrated in the new convent. One interesting fact about this religious complex is that it was the only convent built exclusively for women in all of Yucatán. Women entered the convent for many reasons; for some it was their only refuge in an all-male society.
The Convent of Our Lady of Consolation became a status symbol in Yucatecan society. It was a huge convent, covering many hectares. When the government began land-confiscation in the mid 1600s, most of the acreage was seized, leaving Monjas as it is currently.
On one other occasion Monjas was closed, for a few months in 2012, until the Salvatorian Fathers arrived and began their ministry, opening Monjas to the public again.
Yucatecans worship at Monjas along with Americans, Canadians and Europeans. Every Sunday morning at 9:30, Masses are in English.