Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez announced on September 30th that Reverend J. Thomas Heron of Saint Matthew Parish in Conshohocken (pictured left) is retiring as of November 14th. Archbishop Perez then named Reverend Joseph P. Devlin (pictured right), who has served as pastor of Our Lady of Peace Parish in Milmont Park since 2018, as the new pastor of Saint Matthew Parish.
Father Heron has served as pastor of Saint Matthew Parish since 2011 and he led the community through a period of change and challenges. In 2012, Conshohocken Catholic School was merged with Mother of Divine Providence in King of Prussia. The school building then underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation for a new preschool/daycare facility that now operates as the Saint Matthew Early Childhood Center.
In 2014, it was announced by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia that the four Roman Catholic parishes in Conshohocken and West Conshohocken would be merged into Saint Matthew Parish. Saint Gertrude Church in West Conshohocken was sold to the Borough of West Conshohocken, SS. Cosmas and Damian Church was sold to St. Mary & St. Mercurius Coptic Orthodox Church, and Saint Mary Church eventually continued as a Catholic church and quasi-parish served by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, which practices the traditional liturgy of the Roman rite.
There was then of course the COVID-19 pandemic, which impacted how people worshipped and celebrated the sacraments that Father Heron worked to overcome through live streams and outdoor Masses.
Archbishop Nelson’s announcement stated that where Father Heron would live in retirement is to be announced in the future.