By Nancy Price
Those who meet Fran Reiley may be surprised to learn that she’s not Irish.
The red-haired local who works for Our Lady of Greenwood Parish is, in fact, Italian. “My favorite movies are 12 Angry Men and Moonstruck – the second specifically because it reminds me so much of my crazy Italian family growing up,” she said. “Someone was always screaming about something but that’s just the way we talked to each other and the only volume on the TV was loud.”
Previously a controller of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Reiley is currently the business manager of Our Lady of Greenwood, overseeing all fiscal aspects of the church. “I’m lucky to be part of such an awesome group of people that understand and celebrate the importance of our local communities,” she said.
Reiley also works on the steering committee for the annual Our Lady of the Greenwood Parish Festival, which celebrated 45 years in early June. “I’d like to thank all of those folks that came out and enjoyed the food, rides, games, entertainment and community spirit,” she said. “Even with the little bit of rain that happened, the event was a great success.”
Reiley has two adult children; one attends Loyola University in Chicago; the other studies at the McKinney School of Law. “It’s wonderful seeing your kids as grown-ups but the part that I didn’t realize when they were little was that you would still worry about them as much as you did back then,” she said.
What is your greatest virtue?
Temperance and loyalty
What upsets you?
I get upset when I see people being treated unjustly.
What do you like best about Center Grove?
The Center Grove area has the most friendly, fun-loving people. The sense of community is very strong in Greenwood.
What’s your favorite Southside eatery?
I love Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza! My favorite is the breadsticks dipped in that wonderful creamy parmesan dipping sauce.
If you had to live anywhere else in the Metro Indianapolis area, where would it be?
Probably downtown Indy; being from Chicago, I love that urban lifestyle.
If you could begin life over, what would you change?
I wouldn’t be in such a rush to get to the next thing. You realize that time goes so fast; what was the big rush anyway?
If money were no issue, how would you spend it?
I would get on a plane and start seeing the world.
What makes you happiest?
Being with friends and family make me happy.
Pick three adjectives that best describe you.
Hard-working, fair and loyal
What is your favorite vacation spot?
New York is a great vacation spot for those who love the big city. There’s something for everyone to do, lots of great restaurants and the best shopping!
What do you do with idle time?
I love to read but I’m usually doing some sort of yardwork or fixing something up around my house.
What would you change about our culture if you could?
That people wouldn’t be so judgmental of others.
How do you escape from reality?
My great escape is found in a good book. There is nothing better than reading a book that you just can’t put down.
What do you love most in life?
My children, Megan and Patrick.
Which living person in Center Grove/Greenwood do you most admire?
Currently I’d have to say Mayor Mark Meyers. Here at Our Lady of Greenwood we’ve been working with the city quite a bit lately and what a great task he has, setting the course for the future of Greenwood and then having to get the buy-in from all the residents. We’ve been lucky enough to be a part of that and see all the hard work that goes into it.
What quality do you admire most in another person?
What is your greatest extravagance?
If I’m being honest, it’s eating out instead of just cooking at home. I really don’t find much joy in cooking or cleaning for that matter, so I’d rather just go out but that sure adds up.
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is that when I’m at the end of my life I’ll look back and regret that I didn’t do something because I was afraid to give it a try.
What has been the happiest time of your life?
The happiest times for me are when my family’s out doing something fun – could be as simple as going out to eat or as exciting as climbing to the top of Diamond Head.
Is there a special talent you really wish you had?
I wish that I could sing. I enjoy music but have a terrible singing voice. In fact, when I was in high school I took girls chorus and when it was the day of the big performance my teacher pulled me aside and asked me to just mouth the words and not sing – and my teacher was a nun! I never had the heart to tell my parents that I wasn’t really singing.
What do you most value in your friends?
I look for people who have a sense of humor and are loyal.
Which historical figure do you most admire?
I admire many women that changed the course of the world, an example being Susan B. Anthony for her courageous campaigning against slavery and for the promotion of women’s and workers’ rights. She began her work within the temperance movement and this led to her belief that women should have the right to vote. She also campaigned for human rights.
What tenet do you live by?
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. Philippians 4:8
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
That I’m not Irish – because of my red hair and last name people always assume I am.