"On Jan. 25, 1959, less than 100 days after his election, in a speech in which he outlined the broad lines of his papacy, Pope JOHN XXIII told a group of cardinals gathered at St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls that he intended...[to hold] an ecumenical council for the universal Church. In various speeches and messages over the next years, John XXIII set out three general purposes for the Council: he wished it to be an opportunity for a spiritual renewal and reinvigoration of the Church that would make it more faithful to Christ's will and for an updating (aggiornamento) of its pastoral attitudes, habits, and institutions to make them more effective in the changed conditions of the modern world; if these two goals could be achieved, the Council would also greatly promote the restoration of unity among Christians."
-The Catholic Encyclopedia 2nd ed. Thomas Carson and Joann Cerrito, editors. "Vatican Council II." Washington, DC: Thomson Gale, 2003. View encyclopedia article here.