Pope John XXIII convenes The Second Vatican Council in Rome in 1962. This council during a three-year period developed and implemented a series of sweeping reforms that dramatically transformed the Catholic Church around the world. Vatican II and its principal documents or constitutions profoundly influenced Father Murphy. One in particular had a material impact on him – the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes. He would later upon his ordination as a bishop make the title of this Pastoral Constitution a part of the motto in his coat of arms.
Bishop Murphy stated the following in a column in the Montana Catholic Register in 1979, “In so many ways, the Second Vatican Council has been the most significant event in the life of the Church in the 20th century. The full impact of so much that happened at the Second Vatican Council is still to be experienced. The Second Vatican Council has affected all our lives in countless ways, from the way in which we come together to celebrate liturgy to a restored and better understanding of the Church itself as a People of God.”