Archbishop Murphy played a material role in the founding of Holy Cross High School in Everett, WA. He placed a high level of importance on ministering to young people. Many young people were taken back by his openness, warmth and humility. The archbishop often surprised them by being current on topics such as movies, music and the latest developments in technology. He possessed a unique ability to interact in a meaningful way with young people. For these and many other reasons, the Board of Trustees of Holy Cross High School changed its name to Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy High School in 1999 to honor the man who had done so much for the school and the young people of the Archdiocese of Seattle.
Then Bishop Murphy expressed his perspective on Catholic schools by stating the following in 1984, “Catholic education thrives in our country today when it makes a difference – when through the efforts of all involved, the values of our Catholic faith tradition are taught, lived and exemplified in the lives of teachers, administrators and parents. Catholic education makes a difference when religious formation and education follows a defined curriculum which is not only experienced in the daily teaching of religion, but is also experienced in the priority which it has over all other concerns. Catholic education must provide the best possible education in the secular subjects, but Catholic education will survive and flourish when it offers ‘something more’ whereby it becomes a beacon of hope to an entire community.”