My dad is never without his rosary beads. He wants to go to heaven, you see. He believes it's better than Birmingham, England. He refuses to listen when I tell him that everywhere is better than Birmingham, England.
When I was younger, he would use one of those long strings with groups of 10 Hail Marys separated by 1 Our Father and a crucifix at one end. He then graduated to a little metal ring that just had the 1 bead for an Our Father and 10 for Hail Marys and fitted around his finger.
This was worrisome, because what if he lost count of how many series of prayers he said? What if he was 10 prayers short of premier access to St. Peter's podium?
Salvation has, however, arrived. All he needs is an iPhone and a new app called Premier Prayer Beads.
This heavenly invention is brought to you by Premier Christian Media. And its creator told the Telegraph that it was inspired by the pope.
Pope Benedict XVI is very keen for the church to make inroads in all of those strange parts of the Web in which young people tend to lurk. He realizes that the church's mission is to go out and convert rather than stay within the sanctuary of its sometimes difficult past.
The Web can be a scary place, and the pope isn't keen on you rating his YouTube videos, but I know that many will appreciate being able to count their prayers on their iPhones.
Richard Smart, the Premier Christian marketing director does, however, feel the app has many uses. He told the Telegraph: "The beads can be used to count off prayers, to count devotions, or even just to play with to relax. It's something to focus on and enjoy."
Play with to relax? My dad can't do that. He believes he has to say a minimum of 300 prayers a day (I am truly not kidding) in order to spend his afterlife seated on a celestial cloud with my beatific mom.
The Premier Prayer Beads, which costs a very profound 1 English pound and 79 pennies (roughly $3), is surely a serious application that will help him in his countdown.