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 | Miscellany Staff Report

Led by faith & called to serve: Meet the Catholic lieutenant governor of South Carolina

Pamela S. Evette is the 93rd lieutenant governor of the Palmetto State. Her journey to politics began in the private sector, where she established a successful career as a businesswoman and entrepreneur.

Since taking office in 2019, Evette has used her professional background to assist people and small businesses, with focuses on building strong families and early childhood education and reading. She is currently the highest ranking Catholic in state government. Her passion for making a difference in people’s lives is fueled by her deep love for God and her faith. As a wife and mother, Evette said she always remembers to serve her first vocation — her family. Evette and husband David attend Prince of Peace Church in Taylors and have three children, Amanda, Joseph and Jackson.

Here, the lieutenant governor answers a few questions on what it means to maintain her Catholic identity while navigating the life of a public servant.

What does your position in government mean to you as a Catholic? 

It has been an honor to hold the position of lieutenant governor as a Catholic. In the south, there are many misconceptions of what we believe as Catholics. I believe some of this is due to leaders who are not in full communion with the Church or who do not respect its teachings. I am always careful to consult the authority of our faith to inform my moral decisions regarding policies I support.

What does your faith mean to you as a leader, wife and mom? 

I have always used my faith to guide me in all aspects of my life. It gives me the moral compass to rely upon before making decisions. As a mother and wife, it has always been important for me to make sure I passed my faith on to my children just as my parents did to me. I am also dedicated to putting my family above all else just as Jesus did for the Church. My husband and I have sacrificially chosen to send all our children to Catholic school to ensure the faith and teachings at home were reinforced in their education. 

How do you meld your faith with your public office? 

I believe it is important to act with integrity and respect in all things. My faith has given me the ability to forgive and not to judge others, but rather to work with people and look past their mistakes.

Where have you found the greatest joy in your public service? 

I have found the greatest joy in helping people in need. I enjoy solving problems and making positive differences for our state. This work gives me the motivation to face every day with renewed energy.

What is your greatest challenge? 

My greatest challenge is caring too much about things I cannot control. I always remind myself that all things happen in God’s time, and patience is a virtue.

What are the most pertinent issues to you in 2023?

Life is the most pertinent issue. 2023 brought us back into the fight for life. When the Heartbeat Law was overturned by the S.C. Supreme Court in January, our state quickly turned into an abortion destination. While neighboring states were adopting stronger life-affirming legislation, the number of women traveling to our state seeking an abortion increased 20-fold. In response, our state legislature passed a stronger and reformed Heartbeat Bill. Our policies should build a culture of life and help all mothers in need.

Second, we are committed to doing all we can to strengthen the family. Strong families are the building blocks of our state. We need better jobs to ease everyday financial burdens, and we need to make sure we protect parental rights. Parents are the primary educators of their children. They should have a say in what their children are taught and what decisions are made in the classroom.

Finally, we must make sure we are making policies to protect our elders. As citizens age, we must make sure their wisdom is respected and ensure the resources are present to accommodate their physical and social needs.

What is the importance of the sacraments in your daily life?

Holy Communion and the sacrament of confession are very important to me. I find great comfort in my faith and in the sacraments. I believe that Communion brings me closer to God, and confession is a necessary gift that strengthens me to carry the burdens I face in life.

Who is your greatest inspiration as a public servant?

It wasn’t until recently that I considered Queen Elizabeth to be my inspiration. She never let public opinion change her beliefs and moral convictions. Right is right and wrong is wrong, no matter the reason or time. Queen Elizabeth let her faith guide her decisions. Today, this kind of integrity and leadership informed by faith is inspiring.

Who is your favorite saint and why? 

I can’t say that I have a favorite saint as I look to so many of them to give me strength and protection. However, I do find myself praying to St. Anthony every time something goes missing. He always has a way of making things appear.

What would you say to a Catholic pursuing public office?

I would encourage people of good will, with a desire to serve with kindness and grace, to get involved. Our world needs people of integrity to lead. Here in South Carolina, there are so many ways to serve the community. Whether it be on a board or commission, or serving on a local school board, your presence and involvement is crucial.