Continuing a ministry he established during his tenure as Bishop of Great Falls-Billings, MT, Archbishop Murphy made it a high priority to be present and to minister to the Native American populations throughout the Archdiocese of Seattle.
He expressed the following thought in his column in the October 8, 1992 edition of the Catholic Northwest Progress, “However, one of the benefits which came to me as a result of serving in Eastern Montana was the spiritual gifts and insights that are part of Native American life. We could learn much from the Native American appreciation and respect for life – our own human life as well as the life of our land and environment. Native American people gave me a new insight into the meaning of ‘sacred’ time and space. In so many instances, I was asked to put on a new ‘lens’ through which I could have a different perspective to much which I took for granted.”