Faces of our Spirit-Filled Network: Fran Quigley
May 17, 2018
How did you first learn about NETWORK?
Via the inspiring, exciting bus trips, like so many other folks did!
What inspired you to get involved and join NETWORK?
The wonderful leadership by Sister Simone and other Catholic sisters has made such an impact in promoting people over profits. That is an agenda that I see as the core of Catholic Social Teaching and a desperately-needed message in today’s society. It is a privilege to be in support of that remarkable work.
What issue area are you most passionate about?
Access to health care, especially access to essential medicines. I am part of a small group of folks who created People of Faith for Access to Medicines to promote medicines for all as a moral imperative and human right. NETWORK is both a big inspiration to us and a wonderful, generous partner in our advocacy.
How are you engaging your community on important social justice issues?
I am blessed to be a part of a robust Indiana team that includes volunteer NETWORK activists from across the state. We have met with our Members of Congress and their staffs, published op-ed columns, circulated petitions, and raised our voices in demonstrations. We have been taking all of these actions in support of NETWORK’s “Mend the Gaps” agenda in life-essential services, justice for our immigrant brothers and sisters, and economic justice for all.
How has your advocacy for social justice shaped your view of the world?
I find hope in faith communities’ shared devotion to ensure that we meet all of our brothers and sisters’ basic necessities of food, shelter, healthcare, safety, and an adequate income. That is a core message of the Torah, the New Testament, the Koran, and every other sacred text. So I believe that people of faith can transcend political parties and socio-economic class and ethnicity to support an agenda that respects the rights of all of our brothers and sisters to live safe, fulfilling lives.
Who is your role model?
Sister Simone, of course! In all seriousness, her tireless dedication to pursuing justice is an example for us all, especially when combined with her wonderful ability to explain the human impact of sometimes complex policy issues. And it doesn’t hurt that she is a lawyer role model for us lawyers, too!
Is there any quote that motivates or nourishes you that you would like to share?
“By crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, the poor, of the destitute . . . We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever-widening circle will reach around the world.” –Dorothy Day
What social movement has inspired you?
The HIV/AIDS treatment movement of the 1990’s and 2000’s. Some of the world’s poorest and sickest and marginalized persons took on the most powerful industry in the world (the pharmaceutical industry) and the most powerful nation in the world (the U.S.) when even their global health allies thought it an impossible challenge. And they won, securing treatment for millions of HIV-positive persons who would have died otherwise.
What was your biggest accomplishment as an activist in the past year?
I actually think that, for all of us, our biggest accomplishment is the simple act of going out there and pushing for justice all year, and then doing so the year after that, and so on. Persistence is the mother of justice. If we don’t let ourselves get distracted by the short-term losses or victories, we will win in the end. That is the lesson of the abolition of slavery movement, the women’s suffrage movement, the labor movement, and the civil rights movement.
What are you looking forward to working on in 2018?
Access to health care for all!