When he arrived at Mount Athos, he became a disciple of Elder Joseph the Hesychast who [[tonsure]]d him in 1948 and gave him the name Ephraim. Elder Ephraim was subsequently [[ordination|ordained]] a [[deacon]], and then a [[priest]]. The life in the brotherhood under Elder Joseph was very austere and [[asceticism|ascetical]], and Elder Ephraim made great spiritual progress under his holy Elder. After Elder Joseph's repose in 1959, Elder Ephraim continued to live in asceticism for many years until he became the abbot of the Holy Monastery of Philotheou in 1973, where he was able to revive the spiritual life there in a short time. Due to the reputation of Elder Ephraim, the monastery's brotherhood grew rapidly. Elder Ephraim was asked by the council of Mount Athos to revive and expand several other monasteries on Mount Athos which had a dwindling number of monks. These monasteries were [[Xeropotamou Monastery (Athos)|Xeropotamou]], [[Konstamonitou Monastery (Athos)|Konstamonitou]], and [[Karakalou Monastery (Athos)|Karakallou]]. He was also asked to repopulate the [[Great Lavra (Athos)|Great Lavra]] but declined. These monasteries are still under his spiritual guidance today. Along with the monasteries on Mount Athos, there are several other monasteries in Greece under Elder Ephraim's spiritual guidance, including the monastery of [[
St. John the Forerunner]] in Serres, that of Panagia the Directress in Portaria (Volos), and that of the [[Archangel Michael]], a direct dependency of Philotheou on the island of Thasos.