Archbishop Murphy lived out his final days with a deep faith in the Lord and unwavering courage in the face of a life-threatening disease. He resumed his full-time duties in February of 1997. His final months served as an example of how to deal with the challenges of a life-threatening disease in a way that embraced the value and sanctity of life.
John Eshelman, Provost of Seattle University, reflected on this period of time as follows, “He was the model for us all in his last days, whether Catholic or not. His real faith in the face of adversity over these last few months is awe-inspiring. No one could watch him going about his work without having real admiration for his faith and courage. He continued to serve his people right up to the last, with a schedule that would have made a healthy man tired.”