Roman Catholic Diocese of Chiang Mai
The diocese covers an area of 89,483 km², covering all of the northern provinces Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Phayao, and Phrae. As of 2001, of the 5.8 million citizen in the region, 36,518 are members of the Catholic Church.
The diocese dates back to the "Prefecture Apostolic of Chieng-Mai", which was erected on November 17, 1959. On December 18, 1965 it was elevated to a diocese.
The principal church of the diocese is the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (Thai: อาสนวิหารพระหฤทัย; Asana Wihan Phra HaRueThai; location ) in Chiang Mai. The current church, already the third cathedral building of the diocese, was inaugurated on October 30, 1999. The first Sacred Heart church was built in 1931. Shortly before the elevation to a diocese, a new, and larger, church was inaugurated on February 28, 1965.
The Sacred Heart College and the kindergarten school that surround the church building were added later in 2475 BE (1932 CE). Originally there were 40 students, now there are over 4,000. In the last few years an English Program has been created. This currently has just over 100 students. Each class is small, around 16 students or so, and has two teachers: A native Thai speaking subject teacher and likewise a native English speaking subject teacher. Whilst Sacred Heart College is a private school, its prices are controlled by the Government and are very much lower than international private schools in the area. Student range from pre-school up to university age.
- Francis Xavier Vira Arpondratana: February 10, 2009 - present
- Joseph Sangval Surasarang: October 17, 1986 - February 10, 2009 (resigned)
- Robert Ratna Bamrungtrakul: April 28, 1975 - October 17, 1986 (resigned)
- 1959-1975 the prefecture and later diocese was administrated by Bf. Lucien Bernard Lacoste, bishop of Dali.