Catholic Charities director receives medal from Pope Francis

Douglas J. Susan, the compliance director of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen, was nominated by Bishop Paul Bootkoski and received the Benemerenti Medal from Pope Francis.

During evening prayer on June 13 at the Cathedral of St. Francis in Metuchen, Douglas received the medal, which is bestowed to individuals who have merited special recognition by the Holy See, according to a statement prepared by Catholic Charities.

“We often talk about people giving time, talent or treasure to various social justice issues. Doug gives all three. It’s the way he lives his life. Doug is a selfless, compassionate, caring and virtuous man,” said Marianne Majewski, executive director of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen.

“Talent: He is a skilled attorney who could earn much more working for the private sector. He has saved the agency and the diocese hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past 15 years that he has worked for Catholic Charities.

“Time: Doug enhances the lives of those around him. No matter how inundated he is with his own work, he takes time out of his busy schedule to help other staff members; he is a good and kind listener.

“Treasure: Doug is always doing random acts of kindness. It is always anonymous, and I find out by accident. His help to others ranges from direct financial assistance to buying donuts for staff members on a regular basis. His giving is genuine, never wanting anything in return.

“I am proud to know Doug Susan; he is truly deserving of this high honor from Pope Francis,” she said.

Susan grew up in South River. After attending South River High School, he graduated from Princeton University in 1984 and worked in the research and development of medical adhesives and devices for CovaTec, a division of Bristol-Myers Squibb for three years, according to the statement.

After graduating from Widener University School of Law in 1990, Susan worked as an attorney and then partner in the Hoagland, Longo, Moran, Dunst & Doukas law firm in New Brunswick for approximately 11 years. He specialized in health care, non-profit and corporate law.

In 2000, Doug commenced working at Catholic Charities, serving as the director of compliance and providing general counsel work to the agency as well.

He has also served as acting executive director for Metuchen Community Services Corporation from 2002-06, and now serves as a trustee for the corporation.

His family is parishioners at St. Helena’s in Edison.

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