Rising from humble beginnings as a refugee from Vietnam, Father Martino became one of the youngest and reputable catholic priests among the Vietnamese enclaves in the U.S. Long before receiving his Master in Divinity at Mount Saint Mary University and Seminary and ordination in 2004, he has worked with homeless children on the streets of several metropolitan cities in the States and in twenty-one other countries around the word.
His passion and perseverance to inculcate hope in the hopeless led Father Martino to establish OBV in 2008 to serve as the champion for the Vietnamese children who are trafficked and enslaved as sex workers in brothels around Southeast Asia. He has personally rescued children from brothels and is one of the few pioneers to bring international awareness to this social issue. He has published numerous articles, presented at multiple national conventions, and appeared on various TV and radio shows.
In addition to spearheading OBV, Father Martino also serves as the Vice Chaplain General of Academic Affairs for the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Society in America. He is known as one of the most dynamic trainers/chaplains among the twenty thousand members. He is also a well-known retreat master for young adults among the Vietnamese and American community across United States, Canada and Asia!
Aside from his volunteer work, Father Martino is currently a full time pastor at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Americus, Georgia and its mission, Saint Michael in Montezuma, Georgia. He is also a member of the Savannah Diocese’s Presbyterate Council and Personnel Board. He aspires to strengthen the Catholic’s faith and is on an endless pursuit to bring people closer to God.
Maria Nguyen Cong, Board Member
Maria is a first generation Vietnamese American, having been born and raised here in the United States. Retaining the best of both cultures is her lifelong goal, culminating in her fluency in both languages and customs. She is an engineer at a biomedical device company in Minnesota, and is involved in the Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Group at both the regional and local levels in her spare time.
Maria is passionate about sharing her talents for the betterment of the lives of the youth around her through youth ministry, teaching, music, and dance. This passion has led her to involvement in One Body Village, serving as Secretary, as well as an advocate for the rights of the youth overseas.