Bishop P. Francis Murphy was a founding member of The Interfaith Alliance Board of Directors. His legacy and inspiration continue to serve as a motivating force in the efforts of The Interfaith Alliance and The Interfaith Alliance Foundation. It is in his memory that The Interfaith Alliance established an annual award in 2001.



The Bishop P. Francis Murphy Memorial Local Activism Award was established to recognize outstanding grassroots work and commemorate the memory of Bishop Murphy, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, MD, and founding board member of TIA. The award has been presented over the past four years to a Local Alliance that has best exemplified Bishop Murphy’s passionate belief that religion can be a constructive force in public life.*

Over the past six years, the following Alliances have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to promoting a positive and healing role of religion in public life:

2006 The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado
2005 The Interfaith Alliance of Middle Tennessee
2004 The Interfaith Alliance of Hawaii
2003 The Interfaith Alliance of Idaho
2002 The Interfaith Alliance of Greater Cincinnati
2001 The Interfaith Alliance of Central California

*Award recipients are determined by a selection committee made up of experts from the religious, political and justice realm.


Bishop P. Francis Murphy passed away in Sept. 1999 after a long bout with cancer. Bishop Murphy was committed to numerous organizations related to race and gender relations, as well as ecumenical and interfaith affairs. He is well known for his service in the National Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Women in the Church and in Society, as well as his initiative at the Catholic Bishops’ General Assembly which led to the development of the Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on nuclear weapons and world peace. In 1989 he co-founded Interfaith Housing of Western Maryland, Inc., an organization dedicated to developing safe and adequate housing for Western Maryland’s rural poor.


Frank Murphy uniquely combined qualities that enhanced his ministry, enriched the lives of all he touched, and strengthened the organizations in which he was involved. Frank spoke with pastoral wisdom, prophetic consciousness, and priestly compassion; practiced faithfulness to ecclesiastical traditions and envisioned a more inclusive fellowship; and acted with gentle concern and innovative courage.