Ilya Ganaba was born on August 1, 1962 in Leningrad, USSR. His father Vladimir Ganaba (b. 1934) was an archdeacon at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Podolsk in the Moscow Oblast. Later, his older brother, Alexander Ganaba (b. 1957), was an archpriest and dean at the same cathedral.
In 1971, Ilya Ganaba moved with his parents to Penza. There he attended school, going through the Soviet educational system, graduating from high school in 1979. He also served as an episcopal subdeacon at the altar and sang in the choir of the Dormition Cathedral in Penza. He would not have been able to do this without the tacit approval of the KGB.
In 1980 Ilya Ganaba entered the Leningrad Theological Seminary, now the Saint Petersburg Theological Academy. In 1982 he was accepted into the Leningrad Theological Academy, where the November 17, 1985 took monastic vows with name Eliseus in honor of St. Elisha. On November 22, 1985 he was ordained hierodeacon and January 18, 1986 he was ordained hieromonk. On June 20, 1987 he joined the brotherhood of St. Daniel Monastery in Moscow. In 1988 he completed his postgraduate studies at the Moscow Theological Academy.
Since December 27, 1988 to October 5, 1992 he served as Deputy Chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem. On January 20, 1994 he was appointed head of sector institutions overseas of the Russian Orthodox Church. By the Easter holiday 1997 Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, who was also a senior KGB Officer, raised Eliseus to the rank of archimandrite.
On October 7, 2000 he was appointed Representative of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia at the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East in Damascus, Syria. On March 12, 2002 he was appointed Head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem. On November 26, 2006 he was consecrated Bishop of Bogorodsk, the vicar of the Diocese of Korsun.
Appointment to Sourozh
December 27, 2007 he was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Sourozh, which covers the United Kingdom and Ireland. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia elevated him to the rank of Archbishop on February 1 2010.