Lyman Stebbins was brought up an Episcopalian, in a vaguely Christian way, and attended Yale College, from which he graduated in 1933. He was aware of a lack of spiritual and intellectual content in his college courses, with the exception of a marvelous course on the poetry of Robert Browning taught by William Lyon Phelps, which for the first time briefly brought him into contact with a Christian worldview.
At a young age, he became a general partner of deCoppet and Doremus, a Wall Street firm, and a member of the New York Stock Exchange. In the midst of his successful career, he had a keen sense of the emptiness of this world and a growing awareness that there must be something more to life. This perception took on a deeper dimension when, in 1938, he suddenly came down with tuberculosis and was forced to take an almost two-year leave of absence from work. No longer immersed in the business world and its frenetic activity, he had time to read and think. His hunger for truth and beauty increased, as well as a more profound longing for God. The months of suffering, in and out of hospitals, became a time of grace. He finally went back to work in 1940.
In 1968, after Pope Paul VI promulgated Humanae Vitae, H. Lyman Stebbins and a group of other laymen founded Catholics United for the Faith.
In 1988, one year before Stebbins passed away, Pope John Paul II conferred on him Knighthood of the Order of St. Gregory the Great.