Holy Father Pope Francis created the Diocese of Chang Rai in north-east Thailand and appointed Father Joseph Vuthiler Haelom as its first bishop. The new diocese has been created out of the territories of Chiang Mai, making it a suffragan of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Bangkok.

Bishop-designate, Fr. Haelom was born on 17 December 1951 in Lamsai, in the Province of Pathumthani in the Archdiocese of Bangkok.  He entered the Diocesan Minor Seminary in Bangkok and subsequently completed his philosophical and theological studies at the Lux Mundi National Seminary in Sampran. He was ordained priest on 3 August 1980 and incardinated into the Archdiocese of Bangkok.